There has been a lot of chatter recently about potential Supreme Court vacancies before the 2020 election, with some speculating that Justice Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito might be ready to retire in the near future.
After Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg announced that she is battling her fifth round of cancer last week, the rumors began to swirl once more. At 87 years old, Ginsburg refuses to take any steps towards retiring, but the possibility that she may be forced to step down is more likely now than ever.
The White House and the GOP-controlled Senate have confirmed that if a vacancy were to arise before the November election, President Trump is ready to fill the seat despite Democrat objections.
“I can’t imagine that if [Trump] had a vacancy on the Supreme Court that he would not very quickly make the appointment and look for the Senate to take quick action,” White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said on Wednesday.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) confirmed earlier this year that he will prioritize confirming a Supreme Court nomination if given the opportunity, even with just months to go before the election.
Donald Trump also announced in June that he would soon release a new list of potential Supreme Court justices in the coming months. He has yet to release any names, but they are likely to be conservative nominees. President Trump has already made two SCOTUS appointments, a major boon for his strategy of placing conservative-leaning judges in courts nationwide.
Ginsburg said on Friday that she is receiving chemotherapy treatment for liver cancer and that she has every intention of continuing her duties on the bench. “I have often said I would remain a member of the Court as long as I can do the job full steam. I remain fully able to do that,” she said.