South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy announced Wednesday that will not run for re-election, instead opting for a return to the justice system.
Though he is leaving politics and giving up his chairmanship of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, some have speculated that Gowdy might someday hold an even more important title — that of Supreme Court justice.
“I will not be filing for re-election to Congress nor seeking any other political or elected office,” Gowdy said in a statement. “(I)nstead I will be returning to the justice system. Whatever skills I may have are better utilized in a courtroom than in Congress, and I enjoy our justice system more than our political system.”
The same day Gowdy announced his pending departure from Congress and politics, a seat opened up on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Judge Dennis W. Shedd, who serves on the Richmond, Virginia-based federal court, assumed senior status on Wednesday, meaning that he is leaving active service, though he will still be involved in some cases.
According to The Daily Caller News Foundation, Shedd’s seat covers part of South Carolina. This might open the door for President Donald Trump to nominate Gowdy, a South Carolina Republican, to the court.
Before being elected to Congress, Gowdy served as a state solicitor and federal prosecutor. Moreover, his name as been thrown around before as someone who might potentially be nominated to the federal bench.
If Gowdy does become a federal judge, he may have a chance at one day being nominated to the Supreme Court, said National Review Online contributing columnist Dan McLaughlin.
“Don’t be surprised if Gowdy is Trump’s pick to replace Shedd for a life-tenured position (and maybe an outside shot someday at the Supreme Court),” McLaughlin wrote.
At least on Twitter, many people seemed to welcome the idea of a “Justice” Gowdy.
Greenville County GOP chair Nate Leupp, meanwhile, noted that Gowdy becoming a federal judge is certainly a possibility.
“We’ve been hearing for a long time that Congressman Gowdy wanted to leave D.C.,” Leupp told The Greenville News. “We wonder if that’s what he’s been eyeing.”
“I think that the president would definitely be looking towards Congressman Gowdy for something like that,” he added.
On the other hand, a source told TheDCNF that Gowdy does not want to become a federal judge.
“He is not planning on becoming a judge,” the source said. “He was approached months ago and turned it down.” The source added that Gowdy plans to go back to being a lawyer.
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