Donald Trump thinks the U.S. Supreme Court will have more turnover than a bakery by the end of his first term.
Jonathan Swan at Axios reports that the president has told associates that he believes he'll appoint four(!) new SCOTUS justices by 2020. Neil Gorsuch was just the first. The other is a replacement for Anthony Kennedy, who is rumored to be considering retirement.
But the other two? According to Swan, here's how the conversation has essentially gone:
“Ok,” one source told Trump, “so that's two. Who are the others?”
“Ginsburg,” Trump replied. “What does she weigh? 60 pounds?”
“Who's the fourth?” the source asked.
“Sotomayor,” Trump said, referring to the relatively recently-appointed Obama justice, whose name is rarely, if ever, mentioned in speculation about the next justice to be replaced. “Her health,” Trump explained. “No good. Diabetes.”
Ginsburg is 84, which is certainly not young. Though her mind is apparently still sharp enough to joust with the much younger Gorsuch on occasion.
But Sotomayor? She has managed her diabetes since she was 7 years old. The president does not seem to be bringing any new information about her health to this conversation. He's just picking out the one justice with a known health problem and being a ghoul.
Seven of the court's nine members are over 60. Actuarially speaking, any one of them is a candidate for a debilitating illness. For that matter, at 71 and with the diet of a teenager whose parents left town for a week, so is the president.
Glass houses, sir.