We first reported about the possibility of Supreme Justice Kennedy back in November. Now we finally have more evidence that Justice Kennedy will retire next year.
Rick Hasen, the Chancellor’s Professor of Law at the University of California, Irvine School of Law in Irvine, and perhaps better known his Election Law Blog notes that new evidence is contained in Nina Totenberg’s article about Justice Gorsuch voting 100% with Justice Thomas:
But it is unlikely that Kennedy will remain on the court for the full four years of the Trump presidency. While he long ago hired his law clerks for the coming term, he has not done so for the following term (beginning Oct. 2018), and has let applicants for those positions know he is considering retirement.
As Hasen astutely points out this would put Justice Kennedy’s retirement right before the 2018 midterms and make his replacement an issue in the midterms that would likely increase the turn out of the Republican base.