Deadlocked: With No Ninth Justice, The Supreme Court Has Been Unable to Cast The Government’s Upcoming Production of “Guys and Dolls”


Well, this isn’t good.

Remember when Republicans in Congress refused to confirm President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, leaving the recently deceased Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat vacant? Turns out that wasn’t such a great idea after all. We knew all along that such unbridled obstructionism was counter to the values of our democracy, but only recently have the full ramifications become harrowingly clear. With the eight justices stuck in a 4-4 deadlock, the Supreme Court has no way of finalizing the cast list for the government’s upcoming production of Gu ys and Dolls.

Talk about a letdown. When President Obama announced that this year’s musical was going to be Guys and Dolls, our representatives in government could hardly contain their excitement. Politicians from both sides of the aisle rushed out to auditions, eager to sing, dance and act their democratically elected hearts out. But since then, things have taken a turn for the worse. Thanks to conservatives’ refusal to approve Garland’s nomination, the Supreme Court has no tie breaker vote for the difficult casting decisions they now face.

With Guys and Dolls now three weeks behind schedule, the Court is no closer to reaching any sort of consensus. According to the latest reports, Justices Ginsburg, Kennedy, Thomas, and Sotomayor all believe that the part of Nathan Detroit should go to Senator Dean Heller (R-NV), while Justices Kagan, Alito, Roberts, and Breyer argue that Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez is more deserving. Justice Kagan is rumored to have stated her case with particular passion, arguing that “Senator Heller lacks the legislative experience, political acumen, and upper vocal register required for such a demanding role.”

Of course, this is all speculation, as the Court’s casting deliberations are highly secretive, even to the other branches of government. For those not in the know, the wait has been nothing short of excruciating. “Every day I check the door of the Supreme Court Building to see if they’ve posted the cast list, but it’s never there,” lamented Secretary of Commerce and prospective Miss Adelaide Penny Pritzker.“I’ve just got to get that part.” Meanwhile, other cast hopefuls have taken advantage of the extra time by getting a head start on learning their numbers; Senators Tom Carper (D-OR), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) were spotted rehearsing “I’ve Got The Horse Right Here” on the steps of the Capitol Building for some three hours yesterday.

This is a sobering example of how partisan gridlock can prevent our government from acting on the issues that matter. To those dedicated public servants still patiently awaiting casting results, we say: godspeed. As depressing as things seem now, hopes are high for next year’s show, with rumors of Bye Bye Birdie already beginning to circulate.


– MF ’19, illustrated by KG ’19

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