President Donald Trump expects to nominate a total of four Supreme Court justices, claiming that three seats will likely become vacant during his first term, anonymous sources told Mike Allen of Axios.
Trump expects to fill the seats of Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Sonia Sotomayor in addition to nominating Neil Gorsuch, who Trump nominated to fill former Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat earlier this year. Scalia died in 2016, well before Trump took office.
WATCH PEOPLE PROTEST THE GORSUCH NOMINATION:
Rumors about Justice Kennedy’s retirement floated around SCOTUS circles this summer, and many people expect the 81-year-old to retire before the end of Trump’s first term. That would make a total of two seats for Trump to fill.
Asked by the source who the other vacancies would be, Trump said Ginsburg’s seat is likely to become vacant. “What does she weigh? 60 pounds?” Trump told the source.
Asked who the fourth vacant seat would be, Trump replied “Sotomayor,” referring to the first justice nominated by former President Barack Obama. At 63, Sotomayor is rarely mentioned as a pending vacant seat on the court.
But Trump believes that her longtime struggle with type-1 diabetes imperils her future on the court. “Her health,” Trump said. “No good. Diabetes,” Trump reportedly said.
Sotomayor has discussed her fight against diabetes and how she copes with the disease on a daily basis. “It wasn’t so bad, but it was still bad,” Sotomayor said during a meeting of diabetic children in 2011. “It was still something that I had to deal with, grow up with and figure out how to live with.”
WATCH: JUSTICE GORSUCH PRAISES SMALL BUSINESS
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