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Like clockwork, Washington has whipped itself into a frenzy over rumors of a possible retirement on the Supreme Court.
All eyes are on Justice Anthony Kennedy, 81, who reportedly considered calling it quits last spring. As the court’s current term winds to a close, speculation about his plans has again swept the capital, with court watchers searching for clues.
The article goes on to state the following:
Those who say Kennedy is here to stay — at least for now — point to the fact that he’s already hired his law clerks for the next term, as Above the Law reported.
“I don’t think he would have hired all four clerks for next year if he was seriously entertaining stepping down,” said Carl Tobias, a University of Richmond School of Law professor. “I just don’t think it’s going to happen.”
But Ian Samuel, a Climenko Fellow and lecturer on law at Harvard Law, who clerked for the late Justice Antonin Scalia, said the small number of cases the court has granted could signal Kennedy is throwing in the towel. The court has only agreed to hear 15 cases so far next term.
“One possibility is they are not granting cases because they don’t know who their ninth member is going to be. … You could imagine Kennedy telling the chief, ‘I’d like to keep this between us, but I’d like to retire,’ and the chief saying, ‘Let’s see who Kennedy’s replacement is before we grant all these cases,’” Samuel said.
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