Sen. Chuck Grassley said this week that a Supreme Court justice is rumored to be resigning within the year.
“I would expect a resignation this summer,” he said, according to the Muscatine Journal. He did not name a justice.
The Iowa Republican, who is also chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, made the remarks during a question-and-answer session in Muscatine, Iowa.
If a resignation does occur, it’s expected that President Donald Trump would nominate a replacement from the same list from which the newly appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch was chosen, Grassley said. He added that most of the candidates on the list are well-qualified.
“I don’t know about racial and ethnic divisions, but there’s some very good females on there that would make good Supreme Court justices as well,” Grassley said.
Another Trump appointee would likely be a conservative-leaning judge, skewing the Supreme Court bench further to the right.
Grassleys remarks come less than two weeks after the swearing in of Gorsuch, who now fills the seat of the late Justice Antonin Scalia. To confirm Gorsuch, Republicans opted to change the rules of the Senate to overcome a Democratic filibuster.
Future Supreme Court confirmations will now only require a series of simple majority votes in the Senate, rather than a previous 60-vote threshold.