Justice Felix Frankfurter, however, encouraged him to stay, which he did. Frankfurter noted that the court often reschedules cases and told him that his absence was not “sacrificing a single interest of importance” (Bruce Allen Murphy, The Brandeis/Frankfurter Connection 305, citing Letter, FF to Jackson, January 16, 1946, FF/HLS Box 170, Folder 2).
If the court could manage with eight justices in 1945-1946, when it had a much more onerous workload than it has today, it can manage for a year or so now. There may be good arguments that the Senate should confirm an Obama nominee this year, but the notion I see circulating that it would somehow be unprecedented and dysfunctional to temporarily have only eight justices on the court isn’t one of them.
(H/T: Jacob Cohen)