Media rumors are swirling that the Trump administration is preparing for the possibility that Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito may retire in the coming months.
Much of the recent speculation about a potential SCOTUS retirement has focused on 87-year-old Ruth Bader Ginsburg, but she shows no signs of being willing to retire while Trump is in office.
Retirement talks have now shifted focus onto Alito and Thomas. According to a recent Washington Post report:
Justice Clarence Thomas, a conservative appointed by George H.W. Bush, is privately seen by Trump’s aides as the most likely to retire this year. While Thomas has not given any indication of doing so, the White House and Senate Republicans are quietly preparing for a possible opening, according to a White House official and two outside Trump political advisers who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the private conversations.
Conservative radio star Hugh Hewitt pooh-poohed the notion that Thomas would retire in the near future but dropped the bombshell on Wednesday that 70-year-old Justice Alito, a Bush appointee, may be considering quitting the court — according to insiders.
The Washington Examiner reported that Hewitt explained the rumors to Washington Post reporter Robert Costa on his show Wednesday:
Hewitt suggested he learned this rumor when “people begin working the refs” this time of year.
“I’m hardly a ref, but I got a column in the Washington Post, and so they start working me about, ‘You know this person would be great if Alito quit,'” he said.
Liberal Justice Stephen Breyer is also a potential candidate for retirement at 81 years old but is not likely to retire willfully while Trump is in office.
Donald Trump recently announced that he is preparing a new list of potential Supreme Court nominees after supposedly right-leaning judges John Roberts and Neil Gorsuch disappointed Trump’s base by handing down decidedly liberal SCOTUS decisions.
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