(Thanks to Susan for the news tip.)
Sounds like it ought to be a movie, doesn’t it? Dead Judges Can’t Vote, starring Shemp Howard and the Ninth Circuit Court.
Actually, it’s a new ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, and a finding that “federal judges are appointed for life, not for eternity” (https://www.foxnews.com/politics/supreme-court-says-vote-of-dead-progressive-icon-judge-does-not-count).
Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the Ninth Circus Court–the “progressive icon” that struck down California’s ban on same-sex pseudomarriage: did you know judges were allowed to be progressive icons? I didn’t. I thought they were supposed to rule on the law, not on the politics–died of a heart attack last year, nine days before the court was to issue a ruling–a case, in fact, in which his vote was the key vote. However, the rule says you have to be alive when the ruling is actually issued by the court: otherwise your vote doesn’t count. The same rule applies to the Supreme Court–and that voided several opinions by Justice Scalia when he died suddenly. They knew how he intended to rule, but with him dead, it didn’t count.
Reinhardt was appointed to the Ninth Circuit by Jimmy Carter, the second-worst president in history. He may not have been the worst judge, but he certainly tried to be.