The court even decided to expedite the University of North Carolina case, which hadn’t yet been taken up by an appeals court. That’s another feature of that new conservative-dominated court, which has granted 15 cases that hadn’t been yet heard by an appeals court since 2018. From 2004 through 2017, it granted zero such petitions.
Combined with using the shadow docket to decide some of the most controversial and extreme rulings with no public argument and no transparency, this Trump-packed court is looking more radical by the day.
Apparently the recent extreme partisanship of the court convinced the justice that it was too risky to leave to chance his continued good health. It’s also possible that he’s concerned that the efforts to expand and reform the court are gaining steam, and his departure could help allay concerns and slow that train down.
In his 2020 campaign President Joe Biden promised he would nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court, were he to get the opportunity. The likeliest contenders are federal Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson and California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger.