If he gets his way, President Donald Trump could potentially become the seventh president of the United States to appoint a majority of the Supreme Court’s judges. Last August, then-candidate Trump told the Washington Post that the next president may appoint up to five justices, changing the direction of the court for decades. According to a White House source, Trump has been repeating that claim behind closed doors. Considering the ages of the oldest justices currently on the court, it’s not an unrealistic idea.
Buoyed by the Senate’s expected confirmation today of Neil Gorsuch to replace the late Antonin Scalia, Trump has told associates that he fully expects to name four more justices.
“He expects to name five to the court,” said one of those associates.
It’s not a radical idea.
A new report on the court reveals that the average age of justices who leave the court is 79. Scalia was 79 when he died.
By the end of Trump’s first term, three will have crossed that line, Anthony Kennedy, who will be 83, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who will be 86, and Stephen Breyer, who will be 81. The next oldest is Clarence Thomas, who will be 71.
Perhaps Trump’s strongest selling point while he was running for president was his promise to appoint conservatives to the Supreme Court. The choice was clear: It was either that or eight years of Hillary Clinton’s horrendous, radical picks.
If Trump manages to stay in office a full eight years, he could leave the court with a conservative 7-2 majority. Love him or hate him, that would be one amazing legacy.