We’ve shared the rumor mill over the possible retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy with its various iterations over the last year.
But this latest issue may be the most salient of all the sources. Nevada Rep. Dean Heller appears to have let the cat out of the bag in a recent speech in which he declared rather matter of factly that Kennedy will retire this summer.
Remember that Kennedy has been the swing vote in a handful of blockbuster decisions going back to Planned Parenthood v. Casey and most recently in the Obergefell decision which effectively legalized gay marriage.
His replacement will almost certainly be a Gorsuch type justice which may finally return the Supreme Court to a solid conservative majority.
And with the Senate possibly flipping control in November, this summer would be in the nick of time.
Here’s more from Hotair…
Is this a prediction or a secret that he wasn’t supposed to spill? On the one hand, rumors have been circulating about Kennedy’s impending retirement. Above the Law flagged one back in December:
A few months ago, I heard an intriguing rumor: Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, the pivotal “swing vote” on the U.S. Supreme Court, would announce his retirement in early 2018. It wouldn’t be effective until the end of the current Term, around late June 2018. But Justice Kennedy was said to be planning on this early announcement to avoid a “Merrick Garland” situation — i.e., to get his successor confirmed well before the 2018 midterm elections. This would also have the added benefit of reducing the likelihood of SCOTUS becoming a big issue in the 2018 midterm elections.
How about private signals, though? Here’s Heller, speaking at an event in Nevada last week:
“Kennedy is going to retire around sometime early summer,” Heller predicted in Las Vegas last week, according to audio of an event he spoke at that was obtained by POLITICO. “Which I’m hoping will get our base a little motivated because right now they’re not very motivated. But I think a new Supreme Court justice will get them motivated.”…
“Mike Lee from Utah is probably on that short list of the next Supreme Court justice in our courts,” Heller said during the Q-and-A session with the J. Reuben Clark Law Society in Las Vegas Friday.