Rumors are circulating in political circles that US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy could be announcing his retirement from the Supreme Court sometime after Thanksgiving. Democrats are already arming themselves to fight against any possible replacement, especially the one that many consider to be top on President Donald Trump’s list.
Here is a list of current Supreme Court Justices and their ages, from oldest to youngest and which president appointed them:
- Ruth Bader Ginsberg – 84 – Bill Clinton
- Anthony Kennedy – 82 – Ronald Reagan
- Stephen Breyer – 79 – Bill Clinton
- Clarence Thomas – 69 – GHW Bush
- Samuel Alito – 67 – GW Bush
- Sonia Sotomayor – 63 – Barack Obama
- John Roberts – 62 – GW Bush
- Elena Kagan – 57 – Barack Obama
- Neil Gorsuch – 50 – Donald Trump
You know you’re getting old when four members of the Supreme Court are younger than you are.
When Reagan appointed Kennedy to the Supreme Court, he was considered to be a moderate conservative, which helped him win approval. However, based upon his track record in cases heard before the Supreme Court, Kennedy is considered to be a swing vote. With four justices listed as conservative (although there have been some doubts with Roberts at times) and four justices listed as liberals, the replacement of Kennedy could be huge and this is why Democrats are concerned.
The battle over a Kennedy replacement may make the battle over Gorsuch seem like a just mild tussle, especially if Trump picks who many believe to be at the top of his list of choices. Phillip Jaurequi, President of the non-profit Judicial Action Group described what could happen as:
“This will be the political equivalent of World War III. It’s massive if Kennedy leaves the Court.”
Here is the list of choices that Trump considered when naming Gorsuch:
- Amy Coney Barrett, (Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit)
- Britt Grant, (Justice on the Georgia Supreme Court)
- Brett Kavanaugh (Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit)
- Kevin Newsome (Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit)
- Patrick Wyrick (Justice on the Oklahoma Supreme Court)
Jaurequi believes that Barrett would be Trump’s first selection to replace Kennedy and that’s what has Democrats like Sen. Diane Feinstein worried and ready for a knock down drag out battle.
Why? As Jaurequi explains:
“The one that really stands out is Amy Coney Barrett. She clerked for Justice Scalia and has been a professor at Notre Dame, [and] she went before the Senate Judiciary Committee, where she was bashed for her Christian faith.”
During that Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Barrett, Feinstein confronted Barrett and told her:
“When you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you, and that’s of concern.”
Clearly, Feinstein has no problem with Obama’s two choices to the Supreme Court ruling based upon their liberal dogma, but the thought of a conservative doing the same frightens her.
If Trump did select Barrett to replace a retiring Kennedy, it would eliminate his swing vote and give conservatives a clear edge with possibly Chief Justice Roberts becoming the swing vote.
So, what at are the chances of Kennedy retiring?
He made it known this past summer that he was thinking about retiring and then decided to put the decision on hold. It’s possible that Ginsberg and the other liberal Justices had got to him. Hopefully, that won’t happen again.
In his recent post, Jaurequi wrote:
“I do believe Kennedy will retire now, and I believe this announcement will be made shortly after Thanksgiving. President Trump will likely name a nominee in short order…”
“The good news is that God knows the hearts of these prospects and He is able to lift one up and lovingly set another aside. Therefore, please pray fervently for two things over the next three days.”
“First, pray that Justice Kennedy will not change this mind again but that he will quickly announce his retirement.”
“Second, pray that God will put His chosen Justice on the Court and that all others will fade from consideration.”
“Please, stop now and pray! Pray like your prayer will be the one prayer that makes the difference in this matter. God is moving in this Land and He is moving us to pray it forth!”
“Please Pray Now!”
To this, all I can say is AMEN!