Justice Thomas’ retirement allows the GOP to dodge a bullet and regroup
Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020
* I’ve seen this same political analysis elsewhere, but it’s demonstrably wrong-headed.
Hillary Clinton won the 2nd Supreme Court District 702,489 to President Trump’s 587,088, mainly due to her strong performance in DuPage and Lake counties. You’d think Keller would know that, since he chairs the DuPage County GOP.
Yes, Gov. Pritzker also won the 2nd District two years ago, but that was by a much more narrow 513,387 to 512,891 margin.
* It’s pretty safe to say that having that “R” attached to his name was not going to do Justice Thomas any favors this November as he sought the 60 percent needed to be retained - particularly if some groups (trial lawyers, labor, Madigan, etc.) spent big bucks against him.
But, if President Trump loses reelection, the Republicans will then have a Supreme Court candidate running in a 2022 Democratic presidential midterm, which, if history is any guide, may give them a strong favorable wind at their backs. If Trump wins, the midterm is still probably a better bet, considering Pritzker’s 2018 numbers.
Thomas’ decision to retire when he did may or may not have been political to him, but it was still a very smart political move for his party, regardless of what a party boss thinks. He helped his party kick the can to a potentially safer political year.
* Also, they don’t redistrict Supreme Court seats. Per the constitution, district boundaries are based on contiguous county lines and there is no constitutional requirement for decennial redistricting.