Ben Carson: A 'Progressive' Prez & 3 Court Picks, 'That's the End of the United States'

Claire Chatelin
By Claire Chatelin | July 23, 2014 | 1:01 PM EDT

Dr. Ben Carson.

Famous retired neurosurgeon and best-selling author Dr. Ben Carson warned that another progressive president would spell “the end of the United States, as we know it” because of the likelihood that such a president could pick three Supreme Court justices.

“Our country is in critical condition right now and if we don’t do something about it in the relatively near future, it’s going to be over,” said Carson on July 19 at the Western Conservative Summit, a three-day event in Denver Colo.

“I want you to think about the fact that if we get another progressive president in place and they get a chance to appoint three more Supreme Court justices, that’s the end of the United States, as we know it,” he said. “So this is the most serious situation we’ve had in a very long time.”

The U.S. Supreme Court, the final interpreter of federal constitutional law, consists of eight associate justices and one chief justice who are appointed for life. They are nominated by the president and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Five of the current justices were chosen by a Republican president and four by a Democrat. Justice Anthony Kennedy, a President Reagan appointee, often casts a more liberal swing vote, and frequently determines the outcome of close cases.

Two of the leading liberal voices on the court also happen to be two of the oldest: Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 81, and a two-time cancer survivor, and Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, 75. Supreme Court Associate Justices Antonin Scalia, 78, and Anthony Kennedy, who turns 78 this week, are the two other most senior voices on the bench.

The Western Conservative Summit is an annual conference of leading conservatives, sponsored by the Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University.

Dr. Ben Carson is the former director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, and a former professor of neurosurgery, plastic surgery, oncology, and pediatrics. He is married and has three sons. Carson’s latest book, One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America’s Future, is a New York Times best seller.  His 2012 book, America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great, was also a NYT's best seller.