Breyer says Supreme Court not diminished with only 8 members

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Justice Stephen Breyer says the Supreme Court has not been diminished by having only eight members since the death of Antonin Scalia.

Breyer made the comments Monday in response to questions at an awards ceremony for lawyers. He said he thinks Scalia would have made a difference in only four or five cases out of more than 70 the court will decide this term.

He said it’s possible the court may be divided in a similar number of cases when the term ends in June.

That could include some of the term’s biggest cases involving abortion and immigration. A tie vote would leave the lower court ruling in place and prevent the justices from resolving issues for the entire country.

The court has already deadlocked in three cases.

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