Sen. Chuck Grassley said Friday he does not expect there to be another Supreme Court vacancy soon, reversing course on his own speculation earlier in the year.
There had been chatter over the past several months that Justice Anthony Kennedy might retire later this year. Grassley, R-Iowa, told his Iowa constituents in April that he expected an opening during the summer.
"Evidently, that's not going to happen," said Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which handles Supreme Court nominees, in an interview with Reuters on Friday. "I don't have any expectation we will have a vacancy as I thought there would be."
Kennedy, 81, is a conservative who often is the swing vote on the high court, sometimes siding with the four liberal justices. Rumors Kennedy may retire increased several months ago after some of his former judicial clerks said he was considering it.
In addition to Kennedy, speculation has also centered on the future of liberal justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 84, and Stephen Breyer, 78.
The Senate confirmed President Trump's Supreme Court nomination for conservative Neil Gorsuch earlier this year. Gorsuch replaced the late Antonin Scalia. Trump has openly pined for filling another future vacancy with a conservative.