IN10559 – Supreme Court: Length of the Scalia Vacancy in Historical Context – 08/26/2016


This CRS Insight provides data and analysis related to the potential length of the current vacancy on the Supreme Court caused by the death of Antonin Scalia on February 13, 2016. Specifically, this Insight provides the number of days the Scalia vacancy will have existed on specified future dates if a nominee has not been confirmed. To provide historical context, it then identifies for three periods of time (1791-2010; 1900-2010; and 1945-2010), how many other Supreme Court vacancies would be of longer duration than the Scalia vacancy if it were to remain unfilled on each specified future date. Prior to the Scalia vacancy, the last vacancy on the Court occurred in 2010 (and was filled by the appointment of Elena Kagan).