White House aide Kellyanne Conway on Sunday declined to confirm speculation that Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy could announce his retirement this term.
“I will never reveal a conversation between a sitting justice and the president or the White House, but we’re paying very close attention to these last bit of decisions,” Conway said on ABC’s “This Week.”
But she went on to indicate President Trump is prepared to appoint a replacement.
“Just as the president did with Justice Neil Gorsuch, whenever there are vacancies, whenever that happens, he will look for somebody who has fidelity to the constitution, who doesn’t make up the law as they go along, and somebody who has the judicial temperament and a record that’s beyond reproach, as did Justice Gorsuch.”
Conway added that she hopes next time the president needs to nominate a justice to the Supreme Court, more Democratic senators will vote in favor of the nominee.
“We just hope the next time we can get more than a handful of Democratic Senators to vote for our nominee to the Supreme Court and to the federal courts,” she said.
“We’d like a lot more cooperation from our Democratic friends. We know obstruction and resistance is their motto. It’s not working. And it’s not working for the American people, Supreme Court nominations and otherwise,” she added.
Kennedy is considered the most pivotal justice on the Supreme Court, often known for casting the tie-breaking vote in key decisions.
But Kennedy, now 80, is said to be considering stepping down from the Supreme Court, according to CNN, though he has not publicly signaled he will do so in the next year.