The suspense of which party will control the White House and the U.S. Senate in 2021 is compounded by the prospect of major changes at the Supreme Court as it prepares to consider cases dealing with retirement plan stock losses, securities class actions and multiemployer pension liability.
Those issues and many more in the years to come could be viewed through a more conservative lens, following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, one of the court's more liberal voices.
President Donald Trump on Sept. 26 nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago to fill Ms. Ginsburg's vacancy.
Ms. Barrett was nominated to the appellate court position by Mr. Trump in May 2017 and confirmed with bipartisan support in the Senate. If Ms. Barrett is confirmed to the Supreme Court, conservatives would hold a 6-3 majority compared with the current balance of 5-3 following Ms. Ginsburg's death.
Ms. Barrett, a former Notre Dame Law School professor who clerked for the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, has been on the bench just three years, making it difficult to read much into her legal opinions beyond her stated preference for "flexible" interpretation of the legal principle honoring Supreme Court precedents.
Solidifying the court's conservative majority could lead to more legal precedents being overturned, which also can have a ripple effect on lower courts and even state legislatures that often take their cues from Supreme Court decisions.