Colin Powell ‘Supreme Court Vacancy’ Quote

A quote warning people about how a Hillary Clinton presidency would result in a liberal Supreme Court did not originate with Colin Powell.

  • Published 20 April 2016
Image via Wikipedia


Colin Powell urged people to vote for Donald Trump so that they could put a conservative on the Supreme Court.
Did Colin Powell say the following: "A lot of people have brought up the fact that they won't vote for Trump if he's the eventual nominee. I just want to put something in perspective. Justice Scalia's seat is vacant. Ginsberg is 82 years old, Kennedy is 79, Breyer is 77, and Thomas is 67. Nowadays, the data shows that the average age of a Supreme Court retirement or death occurs after 75. These are 5 vacancies that will likely come up over the next 4-8 years. The next President will have the power to potentially create a 7-2 Supreme Court skewed in their ideology. Think about that... 7-2. If the next President appoints 5 young justices, it will guarantee control of the Supreme Court for an entire generation. And 7-2 decisions will hold up much more over time than 5-4 decisions which are seemed to be lacking in mandate. Hillary has made it clear she will use the Supreme Court to go after the 2nd Amendment. She has literally said that the Supreme Court was wrong in its Heller decision stating that the Court should overturn and remove the individual right to keep and bear arms. Period. Everyone saying that they won't vote for one candidate or the other if they are the GOP nominee, please realize this. If Hillary Clinton wins and gets to make these appointments, you likely will never see another Conservative victory at the Supreme Court level for the rest of your life. Ever."
Collected via e-mail, April 2016


About this rating


In April 2016, a message supposedly written by retired general and former Secretary of State Colin Powell started circulating via email and social media, urging voters not to elect Hillary Clinton into office as it would result in a permanent liberal Supreme Court. Powell’s name, however, was not the first attached to this particular screed (nor even the second).

An early 2016 Fayette County Republican Women newsletter attributed the message to H.W. “Buddy” Koenig, the Austin County Republican Party’s chairman. When this passage appeared on Spike’s Website it was attributed to “Ray Buckman.” On 29 February 2016, the message was posted to the “Conservative Daily” Facebook page without any attribution at all.

The message wasn’t attributed to Colin Powell until 23 March 2016, when it appeared on a “Colin Powell” Facebook page:

colin powell facebook

This Facebook page does belong to a “Colin Powell,” but this Colin Powell is a real estate broker and not the famous retired general, and it wasn’t original by the time he posted it.

While it is still unclear who actually wrote this piece, we can say with certainty that it wasn’t retired general Colin Powell. The quote was circulating long before the general’s name was attached to it, and when the message was incorrectly attributed to him in March 2016, it wasn’t because he came out in support of the message, but because a man with an identical name posted it to Facebook.