In early April, Neil Gorsuch was placed on the U.S. Supreme Court. Shortly after the filling of the vacancy, Ted Cruz and President Trump predicted that there would be another vacancy as early as this summer.
Well, that may actually happen, if this report is true.
According to CNN, friends and associates believe that the 80 year-old justice is seriously considering retiring in the near future. That may be this June, as Cruz predicted, or it could be June 2018; we don’t know yet. That is, if Kennedy is actually considering stepping down from his seat on the Court.
If Kennedy does retire, it will give Trump and the GOP Congress the ability to place another constitutionally sound justice on the court. Kennedy has a centrist-conservative record, with his seat being key in many cases regarding business and regulatory schemes.
Some of Kennedy’s key votes include voting in favor of nation-wide legalization of same-sex marriage, abortion “rights,” affirmative action, and fair housing, according to CNN. There have been several cases where he has clearly sided with the meaning and intent of the Constitution, such as the McDonald vs Chicago Second Amemndment case, but his record in other areas clearly makes him more what would qualify as a “centrist.”
When recently interviewed by The Washington Times, Trump himself did not say that he was aware of any specific plans for Kennedy to retire.
“I don’t know. I have a lot of respect for Justice Kennedy, but I just don’t know,” Mr. Trump said, referring to the senior member of the bench, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy. “I don’t like talking about it. I’ve heard the same rumors that a lot of people have heard. And I have a lot of respect for that gentleman, a lot.”
Additionally, Trump still has the same list of potential nominees he compiled during last year’s campaign should another vacancy occur. This is not confirmed yet, but if so it will change the court’s composition for another several decades.
If a vacancy does occur, we will demand that the President nominate another justice in the vein of Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia.