A new report indicates that the White House has quietly began making “gingerly preparations” in case Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg retires.
According to two sources familiar with the process who spoke with The Daily Caller, the White House is well aware of the medical issues involved with Ginsburg, who is 85-years-old.
On Monday, Ginsburg missed oral arguments at the Supreme Court for the first time in her 25 years for reasons involving her health.
The 85-year-old Justice is recovering from surgery to remove two cancerous growths from her left lung, which prohibited her from being on the bench to hear arguments on Monday.
There’s strong uncertainty looming as to when she will return or if she will be able to return at all, according to sources who spoke with TheDC.
And it begins
Look at this news article from The Daily Caller: ’Gingerly Preparations’ Underway In Case Of Ginsburg Vacancy https://t.co/geYo4NESdz
— Light For Corruption (@TomZBHappy) January 8, 2019
“Gingerly preparations are underway, not just for Ginsburg but for any SCOTUS retirement,” a source involved in the Supreme Court nominations of Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh told TheDC.
A second source told TheDC that preparations are being made given Ginsburg’s age and health issues, adding that the White House wants to be prepared in the case that the 85-year-old Justice retires.
The sources emphasized that the White House successfully nominated two conservative candidates who were confirmed by the Senate and that they have a strong understanding of how the process works.
White House counsel Pat Cipollone now oversees Supreme Court nominations given Don McGahn stepped down soon after Kavanaugh was confirmed to the high court.
“By appointing Pat, Trump made sure he has a White House counsel who is both able to handle the investigation and a movement conservative philosophically aligned with the base of the party,” American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp told TheDC.
“Trump has figured out there are some things you keep close to the vest. He likes to be the explainer-in-chief but understands there’s a downside to sharing too much,” Schlapp added.
John Malcolm, Senior Legal Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, told TheDC that Trump could appoint a conservative woman if Ginsburg does retire.
“There would be a lot of pressure to appoint a woman, I would think that one person the president would seriously look at would be Amy Coney Barett,” he said.
While Trump, the White House, and many have wished nothing but the best for Ginsburg, many argue that her health issues may have gotten worse.
Ginsburg had two earlier cancer surgeries in 1999 and 2009, but they did not cause her to miss court sessions.
She also suffered broken ribs on at least two different occasions, neither of which kept her from being absent from sessions on the Supreme Court.
The court said doctors found the growths on Ginsburg’s lung when she was being treated for fractured ribs she suffered in a fall at her office on Nov. 7.
If she does retire while Trump is still in office, the president would have the historic opportunity to nominate a third Justice to the Supreme Court, which currently has a 5-4 conservative bent.