Grassley reverses ‘expectation’ of Supreme Court vacancy this year

Grassley reverses ‘expectation’ of Supreme Court vacancy this year
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyRepublicans jockey for position on immigration House clears bill to combat crimes against elderly Grassley: DACA deal wouldn't need border wall funding MORE (R-Iowa), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is backing away from his prediction of an impending vacancy on the Supreme Court. 

In an interview with Reuters Friday, Grassley said he no longer expects an opening on the court to emerge anytime soon. 

"Evidently that's not going to happen," Grassley said. "I don't have any expectation we will have a vacancy as I thought there would be."

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Speculation earlier this year centered on the possibility that 81-year-old Justice Anthony Kennedy, the court's frequent swing vote, would retire.

Grassley had previously predicted that a vacancy on the Supreme Court was all but imminent, though he declined to say who he thought would step down.

"I don't know who it's going to be, but I think we're going to have [a vacancy] yet this year," he told C-SPAN's "Newsmakers" in May.

Justice Neil Gorsuch, who was nominated by President Trump shortly after he took office in January, was confirmed to the court in April, more than a year after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

Another vacancy on the court would allow Trump to nominate a second justice.