Story May Provide Clue About Kennedy's Plans

Supreme Court justice warns clerk applicants he's considering retirement
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 3, 2017 10:15 AM CDT
Kennedy Message to Clerks Reignites Retirement Rumors
Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

When the Supreme Court wrapped up its current term, all eyes were on Anthony Kennedy amid rumors that he'd announce his retirement. He did not do so, but the rumors are gaining steam once again thanks to an NPR story. The focus of the piece was on new Justice Neil Gorsuch, but Rick Hasen at the Election Law Blog saw "big news" hiding in the midst of it, specifically that Kennedy has been warning potential clerks for the October 2018 term that he's considering retirement.

Hasen points out that could mean Kennedy would step down just before the 2018 midterm elections, leaving Senate Republicans with a choice: try to confirm a new justice before the elections or deliberately wait in a bid to boost GOP turnout. The hiring of clerks isn't necessarily a surefire way to make predictions about justices, observes a post at New York. But it notes that Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who wouldn't want President Trump to name her successor, has her clerks selected through 2020. (Read more Anthony Kennedy stories.)

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