Here's an odd fact to the next President's agenda. Somewhere between 2016 and 2024....there's four Supreme Court justices who will retire. Presently, Scalia is 79. Kennedy is 79. Ginsburg is 82. And Breyer is 77. Toss in the possibility that Thomas at 67 (this year)....might be willing to retire somewhere in this period as well. So maybe up to five replacements occurring.
Somewhere in the first year of the new Republican administration (my humble guess as to the winner of the election).....I think Scalia and Kennedy will give the nod because the Senate has Republican votes to back up the replacement of both gentlemen.
I will predict that Senator Cruz doesn't win the Presidency but gets picked up as the Attorney General and will actively serve in that post for five years. Maybe with Thomas retiring by 2021....Cruz will be offered the position and accept it.
A shocker? No.
Taft did the same thing, and if you look at Taft's history.....he actually wanted the Supreme Court job more than the President's job. I think Cruz is look at this in the same way. He reshuffle the Attorney General's office and impress some people. In the end, he'll be in the right job.
As for this period of changing Supreme Court justices? I suspect the Senate will be more of a battleground as both Ginsburg and Breyer are changed out. Oddball characters....likely in the late sixties.....might be selected, with some appreciation of a different crowd with different attitudes.