by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley delivered a message to any Supreme Court justice who may be thinking about retiring: “Do it yesterday.”
Grassley was speaking to radio host Hugh Hewitt on Thursday and said that if a justice were to step down, the Senate needs to confirm a successor before the November elections.
“I just hope that if there is going to be a nominee, I hope it’s now or within two or three weeks, because we’ve got to get this done before the election, and there’s generally about 50, 60, 70 days between the time a president nominates somebody and we get a hearing in committee, and then another two weeks before it gets to the floor,” Grassley, R-Iowa, said.
“And this has to be done before the November election,” he continued. “So my message to any of the nine Supreme Court justices, if you’re thinking about quitting this year, do it yesterday.”
No justices have announced plans to step down, yet the rumor mill is buzzing with whispers about Justice Anthony Kennedy’s future on the bench for the second year.
Kennedy will turn 82 in July, but has given no public indication he plans to retire, having hired law clerks for the Supreme Court’s next term.