The Corner

Law & the Courts

‘Friends and Associates Believe Kennedy Is Seriously Considering Retirement.’

From the first Morning Jolt of the week:

‘Friends and Associates Believe Kennedy Is Seriously Considering Retirement.’

CNN hints at some giant news that could come next month:

Justice Neil Gorsuch has been on the bench for less than a month and conservatives are already preparing for the next Supreme Court confirmation fight. The only hitch: there’s no vacancy.

But that hasn’t stopped some Republicans, including President Donald Trump, from talking openly about a next seat and even possibly trying to woo 80-year-old Justice Anthony Kennedy into retirement.

Friends and associates believe Kennedy is seriously considering retirement. In general, the burdens of age and demands at the court weigh in one direction. His deep interest — and leading role — in America’s constitutional democracy weigh in the other.

The question appears not to be whether Kennedy will retire soon, but when — at the end of this June, or next? …

Two weeks ago, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said he expected another resignation this summer.

“I have no way of knowing who it is, it’s just a very general rumor for the last six months around Washington, DC and I assume it’s somebody in their late seventies or early eighties,” Grassley told reporters.

Ready for the insane scenario? Imagine Kennedy retires, and then during the process of replacing him, 84-year-old Ruth Bader Ginsburg runs into some sort of serious health issue. With the filibuster nuked, the GOP Senate majority can confirm two more justices in the mold of Gorsuch.

That would be classic Donald Trump luck: one year or so into his term, he would have appointed one-third of the Supreme Court and already become one of the most consequential (and good for conservatives!) presidents of the modern era.

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