The problem with 4-4

From an editorial Wednesday in the San Diego Union-Tribune:

The expected 4-4 Supreme Court deadlock in the Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association case is a fresh reminder of the folly of Senate Republicans refusing to take up Judge Merrick Garland’s nomination for the high court. We need to have a fully staffed court to resolve important legal questions of the day, not have them trapped in limbo because of a stalemate.

There are important pending cases involving abortion rights and affirmative action in which different appellate courts could well diverge – meaning no nationally accepted standards on two vitally important public policies.

In the Supreme Court’s first 4-4 decision since Justice Antonin Scalia died, justices failed to resolve Hawkins v. Community Bank of Raymore, which dealt with whether two women were liable for their husbands’ business loans. Because of differing rulings in the 6th and 8th U.S. appellate circuits, in some states this means the women’s liability depends on whether they live east or west of the Mississippi River.

How absurd.