The last Chief Justice appointed by a Democratic President died unexpectedly 70 years ago last Friday. What happened next had monumental ramifications for the Court—and the country
Speculating about what would have happened if Vinson had not died is interesting, although there is another alternate history aspect to this that may be even more fascinating. There is some speculation that, in addition to whatever desire Warren had to go onto the Court, by appointing him Eisenhower removed a possible rival to his Vice President in term's of Nixon's possible presidential ambitions down the road. That being the case, suppose that Dewey had beaten Truman, with Warren as VP and then Dewey was reelected in 1952 as well. Further assume that Dewey wanted to help protect Warren from potential rivals should Warren want to follow him as President in 1956 (like Eisenhower may have done for Nixon), that leaves you with the most likely appointee to the Supreme Court CJ position being none other than Richard Nixon. Talk about something that could have completely reshaped history, that would certainly do it.
The Senate is held in session more or less permanently these days, isn't it? Specifically to make recess appointments impossible. NLRB v. Noel Canning.
The apportionment cases (BakervCarr, ReynoldsvSims), prior to and causative of the Civil Rights Era, have always struck me as the most important cases ever to arrive at the Court. Distributive/procedural justice is the (ahem) whole ball game, which is why Umpire John Roberts has devoted his career to the destruction of the ballot.
Do feel it necessary to point out that while courts martial do not require a unanimous panel/jury to convict, they also do not require a unanimous panel to acquit.