In a question-and-answer session at Kent Corporation headquarters in Muscatine, Iowa this week, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said he expects another Supreme Court seat to be vacated by summer. Less than a week after Neil Gorsuch was confirmed to replace the late Antonin Scalia on the nation’s highest court, Grassley said more judiciary shakeups were likely on the way.
“I would expect a resignation this summer,” Grassley said, according to the Muscatine Journal. While the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee was unwilling to name names, he said there were rumors of an impending retirement on the court.
As far as the potential replacement pick, Grassley said he wouldn’t be surprised if President Trump chose a nominee from the same list from which he selected Gorsuch. He also hinted that Trump might be wise to choose a woman.
“I don’t know about racial and ethnic divisions, but there’s some very good females on there that would make good Supreme Court Justices as well,” he said.
Grassley isn’t the first Republican senator to predict a forthcoming Supreme Court vacancy; in February, Sen. Ted Cruz made similar comments.
“I think we’ll have another Supreme Court vacancy this summer,” Cruz said at the time. “If that happens, as much as the left is crazy now, they will go full Armageddon meltdown.”
Cruz is no doubt right about that, but the Democrats will not have much to say about it in the halls of Congress. They used up the only power they have by mounting an ill-fated filibuster against Gorsuch, forcing the GOP to invoke the “nuclear option.” That lowered the Supreme Court confirmation threshold to only 51 votes, meaning they will not need a single Democratic vote to confirm the next Trump nominee.
The real question now: Who is this mystery judge, and are they from the left or the right side of the court? Three of the court’s liberal justices are in their 80s or getting damn near that point. Their retirement could allow Republicans to make a major impact on the Supreme Court for years to come. On the other side, it has been said that Justice Clarence Thomas is also thinking about hanging up his robes, and it would make a certain amount of sense for Republican senators to have the inside track on that.
Either way, if you’re feeling conflicted about the first few months of the Trump presidency, this development should be enough to remind you of just how lucky we are to not have Hillary Clinton in the Oval Office.