Hugh Hewitt: Rumor Has It That Justice Samuel Alito Eyeing Retirement From Supreme Court

One of the longest-serving Supreme Court Justices may be eying retirement.

Radio host Hugh Hewitt declared this week that conservative Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito may be seriously considering stepping down.

During an interview Wednesday on his show, Hewitt told Washington Post reporter Robert Costa that the “stronger rumor” is that Alito is “going to quit.”

Costa published a report this week saying several aides to President Donald Trump believe conservative Justice Clarence Thomas may retire this year.

Hewitt downplayed that and instead said he’s heard Alito may be the one to step down.

“Justice Thomas will never quit,” Hewitt added.

Hewitt suggested he learned this rumor when “people begin working the refs” this time of year.

“I’m hardly a ref, but I got a column in the Washington Post, and so they start working me about, ‘You know this person would be great if Alito quit,'” he said.

Alito was nominated to the high court by President George W. Bush in late 2005 to replace Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

Hewitt also listed some judges he believes could be nominated to take Alito’s place, including Raymond Kethledge, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit; David Stras, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit; or Donny Willett, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit.

Costa reported earlier that Thomas, who has been on the Supreme Court since 1991, has not given any indication that he plans to retire.

One outside Trump political adviser told Costa that Judge Amul Thapar of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit is the favorite of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and others if Thomas does decide to retire.

Hewitt said “everybody agrees” with Costa’s reporting on who is favored to replace Thomas.


That’s certainly big news to a lot of people.

Most would certainly have though liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg would be the first to step down out of the nine justices given her ailing health.

Back in May, the 87-year-old justice underwent non-surgical treatment for acute cholecystitis, a benign gallbladder condition, at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

Ginsburg has faced a slew of hurdles concerning her health, fueling speculation that her possible exit from the court could provide an opportunity for Trump to appoint a third justice to the bench.

Back in December, Ginsburg underwent surgery to address early-stage lung cancer.

Last November, Ginsburg spent two nights at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore after she began experiencing chills and fever.

Ginsburg also missed oral arguments before the Court after she reportedly came down with another illness, this time it was a “stomach bug.”

Beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess which justice may step down — but both options are good for Trump.

If it’s Ginsburg, then Trump would have the chance to nominate his third judge to the nation’s highest court.

If a conservative justice steps down, Trump will have the opportunity to nominate a much younger judge who will serve on the court for decades.