Former White House counselor Steve Bannon believes President Trump will have the opportunity to appoint two more justices to the Supreme Court during his time in office.
While not a historical record, four appointments is a number most presidents never see. Ronald Reagan had four as well, but each president since has had two. George Washington holds the record for the most – he had to appoint the entire federal judiciary – at eleven.
Speculation has run rampant that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg may be forced into retirement due to unfortunate compounding health concerns.
“Fox & Friends” even accidentally queued up a memorial graphic on Monday.
Fox News just slipped in Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s obituary segment opener pic.twitter.com/PfN6ICltYb
— Chip Douglas (@AreaMan_) January 21, 2019
But who will be the other justice?
Will Ginsburg Be One?
The 85-year-old Ginsburg missed oral arguments last week for the first time since her appointment to the court in 1993, recovering from a pulmonary lobectomy in December.
The White House has been telling outside advisors to prepare for Ginsburg’s possible retirement according to recent reports.
Politico reported that administration officials are “taking the temperature on possible short-list candidates, reaching out to key stakeholders, and just making sure that people are informed on the process” of nominating her successor.
Politico reports that the White House and senior Senate Judiciary Committee Republican aides are preparing for the possibility of a Supreme Court vacancy due to Justice Ginsburg’s illness, including putting together a shortlist of possible nominees. https://t.co/6iYPaf7gbP pic.twitter.com/uOozqYXZtq
— Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) January 10, 2019
Who Will Be the Other?
According to the Daily Mail, Bannon has expressed a theory that Justice Clarence Thomas will retire, allowing a Republican president to name his replacement.
Thomas is the longest-tenured justice currently presiding, and just the second African-American to serve on the nation’s highest court. The strict constitutionalist was subjected to the Kavanaugh treatment – a series of smears by partisan Democrats to destroy his life – before it was known as the Kavanaugh treatment.
His name was dragged through the mud as political opponents brought in Anita Hill, who had accused him of sexual harassment in the early 1990s. Hill’s story had several holes and little basis in fact.
“Clarence Thomas may retire so that the president could pick someone to replace him,” Politico reported Bannon as saying.
If so, his successor will have some major robes to fill in replacing this man.
“I admit to being unapologetically Catholic, unapologetically patriotic, and unapologetically a [c]onstitutionalist,” Thomas said of his career.
Let’s hope Trump appoints someone equally unapologetic for his or her adherence to the nation and her founding documents.