Grassley: Another Supreme Court vacancy likely this summer
© Greg Nash

Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleySenate panel questions Lynch on alleged FBI interference The Hill's 12:30 Report GOP senator surprises top Dem with birthday cake MORE is predicting that President Trump will get to nominate a second justice to the Supreme Court as early as this summer. 

The Iowa Republican, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said there is a "rumored" upcoming retirement but declined to say which justice he expects to step down. 
 
"I would expect a resignation this summer," Grassley said during a Q&A with the Muscatine Journal in Iowa. 
 
Grassley added that the president's next Supreme Court nominee would likely come off the list of roughly two dozen names Trump announced before taking over the White House. 
 
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Trump could be able to make multiple nominations, allowing him to shape the direction of the court for decades. As chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Grassley would be responsible for shepherding the nomination through the Senate. 
 
Two justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Anthony Kennedy, are in their 80s, and Justice Stephen Breyer is 78.
 
The administration, according to The New York Times, is already looking at potential successors if Kennedy, the court's perennial swing vote, retires. 
 
Grassley isn't the first Republican to signal that he thinks a second justice will retire in the near future. 
 
Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzTrump making calls to senators on healthcare bill Trump maintains healthcare push heading into weekend Trump called Cruz to press him on ObamaCare repeal bill: report MORE (R-Texas), who is also on the Judiciary Committee, has repeatedly predicted that he thinks Trump will get to make another nomination as soon as this summer. 
 
"I think we're likely to see another vacancy potentially as soon as this summer. I think we'll see another vacancy either this summer or next summer," Cruz told the Chris Saucedo Show last week. 
 
Grassley's latest comments come after Republicans changed the rules so they could confirm Neil Gorsuch, Trump's first Supreme Court nominee, to fill the vacancy created by Antonin Scalia's death in February 2016. 
 
The rule change allows future Supreme Court nominees to clear the Senate with only a simple majority. 
 
Though Democrats will still be able to drag out a nomination by filibustering, Republicans will only need 51 — instead of 60 — votes to break the stonewalling.