Will Trump Get Another SCOTUS Pick?

Grind for November 9th, 2018
“Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.”
– Walt Whitman

Breaking News

The Headline

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg hospitalized

The Details

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, age 85, was hospitalized Thursday morning after falling in her office Wednesday night.

Ginsburg drove herself to George Washington University Hospital Thursday morning after experiencing discomfort overnight.

“Tests showed that she fractured three ribs on her left side and she was admitted for observation and treatment,” said the Supreme Court in a press release.

The Implication

Ginsburg was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton in 1993. She is the oldest member on the bench, followed by Stephen Breyer (age 80) and Clarence Thomas (age 70).

The remaining six justices are in their 50’s and 60’s.

I hope Ginsburg makes a swift recovery, but the real story here is that President Trump might just have another opportunity to add to the Supreme Court before his term ends in January 2021.

In addition to his tax overhaul and immigration policies, Trump will already be remembered for adding Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Both justices are in their early 50’s and are expected to keep the court leaning to the right for decades to come.


The Headline

What’s going on with oil?

The Grind

As reported this week by The Wall Street Journal, the US oil benchmark dropped 0.8% to enter a bear market. Prices recovered slightly on Thursday morning.

Brent crude was trading at $72.20 a barrel Thursday morning (compared to $86.74 in October).

WTI futures were trading at $61.68 a barrel.

The Details

October marked a record high for Chinese crude imports (roughly 9.6 million barrels per day) as the nation prepared for US sanctions on Iran.

The sanctions seek to limit Tehran’s oil exports to zero

As the largest buyer of Iranian crude, China was given a waiver that allows it to continue importing oil from Iran for the next 180 days. To receive an extension and avoid punishment, Beijing will have to prove to the US that it intends to halt all imports from Iran.

Earlier this week, the US Energy Information Administration increased its production forecast for 2019 to 12.1 million barrels per day (compared to a previous estimate of 10.9 million).

US crude inventories increased by 5.8 million barrels during the last week in October.

This weekend, members of OPEC will meet to discuss another supply cut.

In June, OPEC and other major producers decided to increase production following a January 2017 agreement to limit production. The United States did not participate in the deal.

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