As November’s presidential election draws nearer, some pundits have speculated that the U.S. Supreme Court could have a last-minute vacancy for President Donald Trump to fill.
Among those justices mentioned as possibly considering retirement is Samuel Alito — but according to the Washington Examiner, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has expressed serious doubts about such a scenario.
Cruz addressed the matter during an interview with the Examiner published on Tuesday.
“Washington is sort of consumed”
While Cruz said he had “heard the same rumors” that Alito could step down from the nation’s highest court, the senator said he does not believe it would actually happen.
“There’s chattering, and actually, to be fair, every June and July Washington is sort of consumed by those chattering rumors,” Cruz told the Examiner.
He went on to note that the Supreme Court’s current term is nearing its end, which often coincides with speculation about a potential vacancy. Similarly, Cruz downplayed the possibility that Justice Clarence Thomas might retire, which has been another rumor circulating within political circles.
“Personally, I don’t think either one is going to, but they might,” he acknowledged. “Look, it’s a decision that each justice makes for his or herself.”
“In the hands of the good Lord”
As for Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a liberal justice with a long history of health problems including a hospitalization this week for a “possible infection,” Cruz is also confident that she will remain in her position throughout the remainder of the year.
“I don’t think Justice Ginsburg will voluntarily step down,” he said, according to the Examiner. “I think the timing of her leaving the court is in the hands of the good Lord, that as long as she is able physically, she’ll be there. So my guess is I don’t think we’ll have a vacancy this year.”
The 87-year-old justice was released from the hospital on Wednesday, the day after she was admitted, according to Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg.
“Justice Ginsburg has been discharged from the hospital,” she said. “She is home and doing well.”
Whether there is another vacancy on the high court or not, Trump has already successfully nominated two of the nine justices currently serving — as well as scores of other federal justices across the United States.