Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley told his Iowan constituents to expect another Supreme Court vacancy this summer.
Grassley, who heads the committee that reviewed and advanced Justice Neil Gorsuch's nomination to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia, made the remarks during a visit to Kent Corp. headquarters during Congress' recess.
"I would expect a resignation this summer," Grassley told Kent employees and National Association of Manufacturers members this week, according to the Muscatine Journal.
In February, Grassley told the Washington Examiner he expected to need to fill another Supreme Court vacancy before 2020. His openness about the summer timeframe for another vacancy follows an identical prediction from Texas Sen. Ted Cruz earlier this year.
When asked by the Washington Examiner in February about whose seat on the high court would come open, Grassley was coy.
"Oh, I wouldn't answer that. If I answered, for some it'd be like hoping they die," Grassley said in February.
At the end of President Trump's four-year term, three justices will be older than the life expectancy of U.S. residents. Justices Stephen Breyer and Anthony Kennedy will be older than 78, while Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg would be 87.
Next week is the Supreme Court's last week of oral arguments for this term. It will be the second week that a full nine-justice court has heard arguments in more than a year.
If another vacancy comes this summer when the Supreme Court's term has ended, the Senate likely would choose to speedily advance the nomination so that a new justice could be seated before the following term begins in the fall.