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Will Donald Trump appoint at least one more Justice to the Supreme Court before the end of his presidency?

So far, Trump appointed two Justices to the SCOTUS - Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh -, and there are no vacancies. However, there is a good chance that Republicans will maintain control of the Senate until 2020, and there might be a vacancy before then. For example, justice Thomas might decide to retire when he can be pretty sure that he will be replaced by a conservative. At 70, he is not particularly old for the court, but he might not want to risk having to wait for another Republican President, in case a Democrat wins in 2020. Another possibility would be the death of one of the justices. Moreover, Trump might be reelected in 2020, and Republicans might control the Senate for at least some time during his second term.

So, it is asked: Will Donald Trump appoint at least one more Justice to the Supreme Court before the end of his presidency?

Resolution is positive if the following two conditions obtain:

  1. Donald Trump sends the nomination of at least one new Supreme Court Justice to the Senate, the Senate approves the nomination, and the new Justice is sworn in.
  2. Donald Trump has been the President of the United States at all times from the moment this question opens to the moment he sends the nomination of Condition 1.

For the purposes of Condition 2., any situation in which Trump is temporarily not exercising his office (e.g., Cheney was Acting President when Bush had surgery) will not preclude a positive resolution, as long as he continues to be the President in the technical constitutional sense.

Resolution is negative if a positive resolution is no longer constitutionally possible (in practice, at most a year after the end of Trump's presidency, this will have resolved).


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