Rumors swirled this week that one or more U.S. Supreme Court justices — including Clarence Thomas — could be preparing to retire, ostensibly to allow President Donald Trump to nominate a younger replacement for the lifetime appointment.
According to Carrie Severino, president of the Judicial Crisis Network, however, there is “nothing” to the rumors that Thomas is planning his exit, as Breitbart reported.
Severino, who previously served as a clerk for Thomas, added that she seriously doubts either Thomas or Samuel Alito, the other name mentioned in recent speculation, would be ready to step down from the bench any time soon.
“There is nothing to it”
Washington Post reporter Robert Costa sparked rumors when he wrote that the Trump administration appeared to be making quiet preparations to replace Thomas, who was expected to announce his retirement at the end of the court’s current term.
Conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt furthered the narrative during an on-air discussion with Costa, declaring that Thomas “will never quit,” according to Fox News.
Hewitt mentioned that Alito, however, might be considering retirement because his wife no longer wanted to live in Washington, D.C.
Severino addressed both scenarios on Wednesday during an appearance on Breitbart News Tonight. Host Rebecca Mansour got right to the point and asked her whether Thomas or Alito would be retiring this year.
“Well, you know, every year, around this time, we start hearing some of the same rumors,” Severino said, according to Breitbart. “You heard them last year, the same ones. So, from my perspective — and I know Justice Thomas well, I clerked for him — I can tell you, 100% certainty, that rumor, there is nothing to it.”
“It’s the same sources”
She also expressed “serious pause as to the rumors about Justice Alito,” noting that “it’s the same sources” behind this speculation who furthered the Thomas rumor.
“You know, I think maybe people love to speculate, especially around the end of the Supreme Court term, but most of the time I think it turns out to be nothing more than rumor,” Severino concluded.
While some conservatives might prefer for Trump to have the opportunity to make a third — or fourth — appointment to the nation’s highest court, she explained that “both are really at the top of their game” and that she “would find it hard to imagine” that either would voluntarily retire.
Of course, anything can happen over the four months remaining until Election Day. As it stands, though, the current makeup of the Supreme Court appears poised to enter its next session unchanged.