President Trump believes that he will have the opportunity to pack the Supreme Court with five judges, making him only the seventh president to appoint a majority and potentially cementing his legacy and that of the conservative court well past 2055.
Buoyed by the Senate's expected confirmation today of Neil Gorsuch to replace the late Antonin Scalia, Trump has told associates that he fully expects to name four more justices.
"He expects to name five to the court," said one of those associates.
It's not a radical idea.
A new report on the court reveals that the average age of justices who leave the court is 79. Scalia was 79 when he died.
By the end of Trump's first term, three will have crossed that line, Anthony Kennedy, who will be 83, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who will be 86, and Stephen Breyer, who will be 81. The next oldest is Clarence Thomas, who will be 71.
The source did not indicate who Trump expected to leave the court to create the vacancies.
Only six presidents have named a majority to the court, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Jackson, William Taft, Franklin Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower.
It Trump gets his way, it would leave a conservative 7-2 majority.
And a new report done by an insurance actuary suggested that younger court picks will be named by Trump and future presidents and that those justices will serve for 35 years or longer, meaning that the Trump court could last well past 2055.
What's more, it would greatly reduce the chances of subsequent presidents to have a chance to name a justice.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org