What’s Next for the Supreme Court? Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito Rumored to Be Retiring
September 23, 2022
There’s been speculation that Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito will retire sometime in the next couple of years, and if those predictions are correct, President Trump would get to nominate two new justices — the most he could get during his presidency.
This could potentially reshape the court and have major implications for American law and politics. Let’s take a look at what both justices have said about retirement — as well as what Trump has said about replacing them — so we can figure out what might be going on here.
Justice Kennedy Officially Announces Retirement
One day after Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement from the Supreme Court, it was reported that Justice Clarence Thomas has also informed President Trump that he will not retire from his post. This means that President Trump could have a chance at appointing up to four justices in one year.
This news has left conservatives hoping for more conservative-leaning justices who will uphold stricter interpretations of federal law in favor of their ideology.
However, many are doubting whether or not both Justices Thomas and Alito are serious about retirement due to their age. The reality is, no one knows how much longer they’ll be around–but at least we know what we might expect with two new nominations if these rumors turn out to be true.
Just a week after US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement, speculation is circulating that two of the court’s other more conservative members are also contemplating retirement. Though they haven’t confirmed this, there are concerns that the liberals may be turning into a minority on a bench that has had conservative control in recent years.
Thomas was born in 1948, is 68 years old, and is African-American. He has served as an Associate Justice since 1991 after being nominated by President George H.W. Bush 1991. Samuel Alito Jr., 65 years old, was nominated by President George W. Bush to serve as an Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court in 2006.
Replacing one justice is difficult enough, but replacing two at once could pose more of a Supreme Court challenge. The search for their replacements could be lengthy as well. Any nominee would need to not only go through hearings but also be vetted by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Unless someone leaves before that process starts, any appointment would likely not happen until spring 2019 at the earliest.
-With both justices over 70 years old, replacing either one of them is likely a sign that they are going to retire sooner rather than later.
-The question then becomes who will Trump choose as Supreme Court replacements?
Democrats have been wondering what will happen when Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg retires from the U.S Supreme Court. With rumors spreading that both Justice Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito might retire shortly, liberals are taking stock of who might be on
President Trump’s short list of replacements for conservative-leaning justices as he looks to pack the court with new conservative voices.
If a Democrat wins in 2020, it will be much easier for them to get judges confirmed since Republicans used their power in numbers during Obama’s presidency by blocking virtually every judge he nominated that was not white male; but if Republicans hold onto Congress next year or Democrats win back the Senate in 2020, Trump may get his nominee through before 2021 arrives.
If these rumors are true, we are going to see a reshuffling Supreme Court of our country’s highest court. After Justice Antonin Scalia died in February 2016, Republicans in Congress refused President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland. It is still unclear who
will be President Trump’s first pick, but they will likely vote along partisan lines if they follow the pattern set by Senator Mitch McConnell when he blocked Garland. Additionally, the president may consider his ideology as he considers potential replacements; conservatives often expect that replacing liberal justices with conservative judges would shape American society for generations.
Possible Confirmation Hearing Schedule
Clarence Thomas has been considered one of the Supreme Court’s staunchest conservatives, with a strong pro-business sentiment. In 1992, he dissented from a majority ruling on whether victims of employment discrimination may sue their employers in state court.
He also wrote in his 2006 dissent on abortion clinic buffer zones that the great weight of both legal and medical opinion indicates that fetal life is not protected under the law until live birth. It should be no surprise then that many liberals are terrified by reports that Clarence
Thomas is considering retirement. One indication he might be retiring soon: Justice Ginsburg will turn 83 years old on March 15th, 2020, when Republicans could be seeking to replace her.
A look at Trump’s New SCOTUS Candidates
Trump may have reached a full-blown SCOTUS crisis. Many conservatives were likely infuriated to hear rumors that both Justice Clarence Thomas and J Supreme Court Samuel Alito could be resigning from the court soon. Though, it’s still unclear if these rumors are just speculation or if they will happen. If this does happen, it will upend the conservative dream of reshaping
America with a radical conservative makeover that would last decades, long after Trump has left office. With so many high-profile cases set to be heard in 2019, Justice Anthony Kennedy may also be considering retirement following a devastating personal scandal in his family life.
Losing both Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito at the same time would be a tough hit. These days, conservatives dominate the bench of the United States Supreme Court. But if these two court stalwarts are looking forward to retirement, who will they nominate in their place?
Names that have been floated include Diane Sykes, Amul Thapar, and Robert Young.
Keep browsing Law Scribd for more updates.