(National Sentinel) Judicial Branch: One of the reasons why Democrats were anxious to replace Barack Obama with Hillary Clinton is so she would have the opportunity to pack the nation’s highest court with constitutional-shunning “progressives,” first to fill the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s vacant seat, and then as many as two more as the oldest justices retired.
Now, if rumors are right, the president is about to get his second pick, per The Associated Press:
The Supreme Court enters its final week of work before a long summer hiatus with action expected on the Trump administration’s travel ban and a decision due in a separation of church and state case that arises from a Missouri church playground.
The biggest news of all, though, would be if Justice Anthony Kennedy were to use the court’s last public session on Monday to announce his retirement.
To be sure, Kennedy has given no public sign that he will retire this year and give President Donald Trump his second high court pick in the first months of his administration. Kennedy’s departure would allow conservatives to take firm control of the court.
But Kennedy turns 81 next month and has been on the court for nearly 30 years. Several of his former law clerks have said they think he is contemplating stepping down in the next year or so. Kennedy and his clerks were gathering over the weekend for a reunion that was pushed up a year and helped spark talk he might be leaving the court.
“Soon we’ll know if rumors of Kennedy’s retirement are accurate,” one former Kennedy clerk, George Washington University law professor Orin Kerr, said on Twitter Friday.
In addition to Kennedy, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a darling of the liberal Left, is 84 and there has been wide speculation that she, too, could retire soon, giving Trump three opportunities to put legitimate constitutional jurists on the Supreme Court (as well as many more in federal judgeships).