Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy said on Wednesday he plans to retire after three decades as a pivotal vote on the highest U.S. judicial body, giving President Donald Trump an opportunity to make the court more firmly conservative.
The conservative Kennedy, who turns 82 in July and is the second-oldest justice on the nine-member court, has become one of the most consequential American jurists since joining the court in 1988 as an appointee of Republican President Ronald Reagan. He proved instrumental in advancing gay rights, buttressing abortion rights and erasing political spending limits. His retirement takes effect on July 31, the court said.
The statement issued by the court said that Kennedy’s decision was motivated by his decision to spend more time with his family.
Kennedy is a traditional conservative who sometimes joined the liberal justices on key rulings, earning a reputation as the court’s “swing” vote who heartened conservatives and liberals alike, depending on the issue. –Reuters
Kennedy joined the other conservative Justices on the court this week in their decision to uphold President Trump’s travel ban.
President Trump just told the press they will immediately begin the search for Kennedy’s replacement. Trump called Justice Kennedy a “spectacular man” :
JUST IN: Pres. Trump says he will begin the search for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy's replacement "immediately."
— ABC News (@ABC) June 27, 2018
Donald Trump Jr. “lit” up Twitter with his response to the announcement:
OMG! Just when you thought this week couldn't get more lit… I give you Anthony Kennedy's retirement from #SCOTUS
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) June 27, 2018
Former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain asks, “Hey Democrats, how’s your week going? #MAGA”
— Herman Cain (@THEHermanCain) June 27, 2018
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell just announced they will confirm Kennedy’s replacement this fall:
Fox News’ John Roberts points out that Trump will have the opportunity now to cement a 5-4 conservative majority in the US Supreme Court for years to come.
With Justice Kennedy's retirement, @realDonaldTrump will have the opportunity to cement a 5-4 conservative majority at @USSupremeCourt for years to come. Pressure will be on Justice Ginsberg to serve until she is 110 years old.
— John Roberts (@johnrobertsFox) June 27, 2018
As expected, the left is inconsolable:
Justice Kennedy's retirement is a catastrophe for liberals. Abortion access, same-sex marriage, voting rights, environmental regulations—they're all on the line now. This is nothing short of a crisis for the left. https://t.co/J9QK4CBwkQ
— Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) June 27, 2018
As usual, it’s all about keeping the killing of babies legal in America…
The look on every abortion proponent's face after hearing Justice Anthony Kennedy will be retiring and Trump will get a 2nd high-court pick. ???? pic.twitter.com/7A6bFJ58pt
— Human Defense Initiative (@HumanDefenseINI) June 27, 2018
Without Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, women’s reproductive freedom and the fate of Roe v. Wade now swing in the balance at the whim of Donald J. Trump.
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) June 27, 2018
Liberals are attempting use Kennedy’s retirement as a way to get Democrat voters to the polls:
Jeffrey Toobin on Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement:
"Anthony Kennedy is retiring. Abortion will be illegal in twenty states in 18 months"
Trump Is going to nominate another conservative to the Supreme Court
VOTING DEMOCRAT MATTERS
— PoliticsVideoChannel (@politvidchannel) June 27, 2018