In a story that was ostensibly about new Supreme Court Justice Neil M. Gorsuch's voting record, NPR legal affairs reporter Nina Totenberg dropped this tantalizing piece of news about Justice Anthony M. Kennedy's potential retirement:
Kennedy may also have thought it best to ensure that there is a full complement of nine justices for at least a year. He could even have been put off by President Trump's tweets about the judiciary.
But it is unlikely that Kennedy will remain on the court for the full four years of the Trump presidency. While he long ago hired his law clerks for the coming term, he has not done so for the following term (beginning Oct. 2018), and has let applicants for those positions know he is considering retirement.
That's called burying the lead. And it's a piece of news that, especially after a tough first six months of the Trump administration, Republicans will be very, very happy to see.