Big news just came out concerning Justice Kennedy’s retirement and hardly anyone noticed.
So far most of the speculation about the timing of Kennedy’s stepping down has come from outside the court.
But now finally Kennedy himself has spoken.
He has reported to incoming court clerks that he is “considering retirement next year” just before the 2018 midterm elections.
This is massive news because it would allow the Republican Senate the opportunity to confirm a replacement before the election and also use it as a means to boost turnout among GOP voters.
Here’s more from Election Blog…
Big news hiding in Nina Totenberg’s story on Justice Gorsuch voting 100% with Justice Thomas:
But it is unlikely that Kennedy will remain on the court for the full four years of the Trump presidency. While he long ago hired his law clerks for the coming term, he has not done so for the following term (beginning Oct. 2018), and has let applicants for those positions know he is considering retirement.
Kennedy’s position on the court is more than consequential. In the most hotly contested and closely divided cases, his vote often decides the outcome. With every passing day, it has become more clear that President Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, is probably even more conservative than the justice he replaced, Antonin Scalia.
This would put Justice Kennedy’s retirement right before the 2018 midterms, giving the Republican base reasons to turn out and keep the Senate with a Republican majority (already a strong possibility in 2018).