With a rap of his gavel on June 27,2018, Chief Justice John Roberts declared another Supreme Court term over, and the nine justices disappeared behind the dark red curtains that hang behind the bench. The assembled journalists politely stood at attention until the last justice was out of view, then rushed to file stories about a non-event - no justice had announced his retirement. Speculation had been running high that Justice Anthony Kennedy, appointed by President Ronald Reagan and nearly eighty-two years old, would be leaving now that a Republican again occupied the White House. Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa had publicly advised the justices that if they were "thinking about quitting this year, do it yesterday." Grassley, and the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee he chaired, would have to manage the intense confirmation process, and with the midterm elections looming, they would need all the lead time they could get.
- From Justice on Trial: The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court by Mollie Hemingway and Carrie Severino