Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is reportedly considering retiring according to the Washington Examiner after the November 2016 election, making the election even more crucial for each party. Thomas, te second African-American to sit on the Supreme Court, was appointed by former President George H.W. Bush in 1991 and has been a dependable conservative vote. Thomas’ departure so soon after the death of fellow conservative Chief Justice Antonin Scalia, raises the stakes in November.
The Republican party is refusing to meet with or hold hearings for Merrick Garland, President Obama’s nominee to replace Scalia. If there ends up being two vacancies on the Supreme Court, the next nominee is going to wield a lot of power ensuring that the 4-4 split between liberal and conservative judges is effectively over.
Justice Clarence Thomas’ confirmation was embroiled in scandal from the beginning, with the NAACP and the National Organization for Women opposing his nomination due to his ultra conservative views on Affirmative Action and abortion. The legal community was also opposed to Thomas being a Supreme Court Justice due to his lack of experience, with only having served two years as a federal judge.