Axios reports that Trump is speculating on possible Supreme Court vacancies, with one surprising name included:
Sources who've spoken to the president about the Supreme Court say he tells them he thinks he'll have appointed four justices by the end of his first term....
Asked how he comes to that jaw-dropping number, Trump mentions the obvious: he's already replaced Antonin Scalia with Neil Gorsuch, and there are rumors Anthony Kennedy will retire.
"Ok," one source told Trump, "so that's two. Who are the others?"
"Ginsburg," Trump replied. "What does she weigh? 60 pounds?"
"Who's the fourth?" the source asked.
"Sotomayor," Trump said, referring to the relatively recently-appointed Obama justice, whose name is rarely, if ever, mentioned in speculation about the next justice to be replaced. "Her health," Trump explained. "No good. Diabetes."
Sonia Sotomayor has successfully managed type-1 diabetes since childhood. She's 64 years old -- years younger than Trump. (Ruth Bader Ginsberg is 84 and a cancer survivor, though she also has a rigorous exercise regimen.)
Health is a peculiar obsession of Trump's -- health and stamina. I'm sure you remember this:
Donald Trump reiterated his view that Hillary Clinton "doesn't have the stamina" to be president during Monday night's debate.
"She doesn't have the look. She doesn't have the stamina, I said she doesn't have the stamina, and I don't believe she does have the stamina," Trump said.
“Here’s a woman — she’s supposed to fight all of these different things, and she can’t make it 15 feet to her car,” he told supporters at a ... rally in Pennsylvania. “She’s home resting right now.” He slackened his jaw and feigned stumbling across the stage, a dramatic re-enactment of the video that showed Clinton nearly collapsing from pneumonia in September.
Trump believes -- or at least wants us to believe -- that he's blessed with superior genes that confer excellent health (as well as above-average intelligence and a gift for "winning").
↓ Story continues below ↓
"I consider my health, stamina and strength one of my greatest assets," Trump tweeted in December 2015. "The world has watched me for many years and can so testify—great genes!"
The president has also fielded several questions via Twitter from users asking about his energy and family, repeatedly pointing to his genes as the basis for his success. "You’re up at 5am and you’re awake at 1am. How do you have so much energy? Seriously!?"
"Good genes!" Trump replied.
He also seemed to apparently miss a thinly veiled dig in June 2013, when @YoungBasedGod_g wrote to him, "@realDonaldTrump your dad gives good brain?? Damn."
"It’s called genes!" Trump tweeted back.
"Dr. John Trump, uncle, for many years at M.I.T.," he also wrote in May 2013. "Good genes, I get it!"
... Trump’s apparent obsession with his own genes could be due to his family’s alleged belief in the theory of eugenics, the president’s biographer Michael D’Antonio said in 2016.
"The [Trump] family subscribes to a racehorse theory of human development," D’Antonio said in his PBS documentary, The Choice. "They believe that there are superior people and that if you put together the genes of a superior woman and a superior man, you get a superior offspring."
Trump is so lacking in normal human feelings that he can only regard the possible death of a liberal justice as an opportunity for himself, but I think he's anticipating the demise of Sotomayor because he assumes she lacks his obvious genetic excellence.
When the overweight, exercise-verse, junk-food-loving Trump is gone, perhaps we'll finally learn what his health was really like. For now, I think he's anticipating the deaths of unsympathetic justices because he assumes they're inferior beings.
Crossposted at No More Mr. Nice Blog