There is speculation sparked by a comment made by Senator Chuck Grassley to a local Iowa paper in which he stated his belief that there will be a vacancy on the Supreme Court this summer. Grassley is the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The reporters believe that likely vacancy will occur as the result of the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy, a Reagan appointee who is often the swing vote on the court.
Jonathan Karl note the comment made by Grassley in the Muscatine Journal, in which he stated on April 18th, “I would expect [a Supreme Court] resignation this summer. Karl notes that Grassley’s chairmanship of the Judiciary Committee is significant because that is the body where hearings would be held for President Trump’s next nominee. He says, “If there is anybody in Congress who would know about such things, it is Chuck Grassley.”
Karl also adds that it is consistent with what he has been hearing “in conservative legal circles for weeks, that Justice Kennedy has been telling friends and colleagues that he intends to retire this year, possibly after the current term of the Supreme Court is up on June 30th.”
Karl, the usually self-righteous know it all, mispronounces nuclear, as he answers the question from the host as to the difficulties expected for the next nominee’s confirmation. He notes that there are only 51 votes required for confirmation and there are 52 Republicans, meaning that the process could be less contentious, except for the reality that Kennedy is the swing vote.
He expects the obstructionist Democrats to be even more obstructionist in a future confirmation process. Unless they’re going to park bulldozers in front of the capitol to block the doors it’s difficult to imagine how it could be anything more blatant than what was encountered with Justice Gorsuch or any less effective.
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