President Donald Trump is under the impression he will appoint four Supreme Court Justices by the end of his term in office.
According to a recent report by Axios, Trump has told several people close to him that in addition to having replaced Antonin Scalia with Neil Gorsuch, he’s counting on Justice Anthony Kennedy to retire during his presidency.
Axios said the conversation between Trump and one of the sources went as follows:
“Ok, so that’s two. Who are the others?” the source asked.
“Ginsburg,” Trump said of progressive Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 84, who has said she does not plan to retire yet. “What does she weigh? 60 pounds?”
“Who’s the fourth?” the source asked.
“Sotomayor,” Trump said. “Her health. No good. Diabetes.”
Despite revealing her struggles with diabetes since childhood — which she has managed just fine since — Justice Sonia Sotomayor was appointed by former President Barack Obama and has served since 2009. Her name is not usually mentioned when it comes to guessing who might retire from their position on the Supreme Court, meaning that is most likely just wishful thinking on Trump’s part that he will get to fill her seat.
Trump has clearly focused on stacking the U.S. court system with judges who fit his political views. By August, he had already appointed at least 44 judges in his first 200 days — more than Presidents Obama, Bush and Clinton did in the same span — and had eight confirmed by the Legislature, including Supreme Court Justice Gorsuch, who has been a vocal social conservative voice from the bench, as Trump promised.
As Axios’ source notes, “it’s a numbers game for” Trump. And despite some lofty aims for the Supreme Court, he’s certainly succeeding in that regard.