×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Anthony Kennedy to Retire From Supreme Court

WASHINGTON — Justice Anthony Kennedy said he was stepping down from the Supreme Court, giving President Donald Trump a chance to nominate another judge to the high court.

It’s likely to ignite another major battle over Trump’s chosen successor, although Republicans will be able to secure his confirmation with a simple Senate majority. Under threat of a Democratic filibuster of Neil Gorsuch, the GOP abandoned Senate rules to win confirmation with less than a 60-vote threshold.

Kennedy, nominated by President Ronald Reagan, has been on the court since 1987. Although he has been largely siding with conservatives this term, he has been regarded as a potential swing vote in a number of cases. He wrote the Supreme Court’s landmark 2015 ruling that led to the legalization of same-sex marriage across the country, and also sided with LGBT groups in other marriage equality cases.

“For a member of the legal profession it is the highest of honors to serve on this Court,” Kennedy wrote in a letter to President Donald Trump. “Please permit me by this letter to express my profound gratitude for having had the privilege to seek in each case how best to know, interpret and defend the Constitution and the laws that must always conform to its mandates and promises.”

His retirement is effective on July 31.
On the Senate floor, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that they would vote this fall on Kennedy’s replacement.
“It’s imperative that the president’s nominee be considered fairly and not subjected to personal attacks,” McConnell said.
A Trump appointment that swings the court rightward will likely pose a threat to Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 case that restricted states from banning abortion.
Trump told reporters that he will pick Kennedy’s successor from a list of about two dozen candidates, the same one that he used to select Gorsuch.
He called Kennedy a “great justice,” and said that the process for nominating a successor will begin “immediately.”
Trump said that he learned about Kennedy’s retirement early in the afternoon on Wednesday, when Kennedy came to meet with him. After 30 minutes, he said that he asked Kennedy if he had any recommendations for a replacement, but Trump did not say whether Kennedy gave a name.
He got his first chance to nominate a justice just weeks after taking office. After the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February, 2016, McConnell refused to consider President Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, letting that nomination lapse. At the time, McConnell said it was too close to the election and that voters should have a chance to weigh in. Democrats already are pointing out McConnell’s contradiction — wanting a vote on Kennedy’s successor with midterms approaching but refusing one on Scalia’s replacement during the 2016 presidential race.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called Kennedy’s retirement “the most important Supreme Court vacancy for this country in at least a generation. Nothing less than the fate of our health care system, reproductive rights for women, and countless other protections for middle class Americans are at stake.”
He called on McConnell to hold off on a vote on a nominee until after the midterms.
“Anything but that would be the absolute height of hypocrisy,” Schumer said.

More Politics

  • Seth Moulton Launches Presidential Bid

    Rep. Seth Moulton Launches 2020 Presidential Bid

    WASHINGTON — Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), an Iraq veteran who has diverged from Democratic leadership in the House in recent years, announced Monday that he is running for president, saying that “decades of division and corruption have broken our democracy.” Moulton confirmed that he was running in an appearance on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” He [...]

  • Mueller Report Book Editions Top Amazon's

    Mueller Report Book Editions Shoot to Top of Best-Seller Lists at Amazon, Barnes & Noble

    Robert Mueller is now a best-selling author. Book publishers’ forthcoming editions of the special counsel’s report zoomed to the top of the Amazon’s and Barnes & Noble’s lists of book best-sellers Friday. That comes a day after the report was publicly released, culminating the nearly two-year investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election [...]

  • Pete Buttigieg Show Business Donations

    Mayor Pete Buttigieg Is Totally Up for Booking Phish for His Inauguration

    Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s campaign seems to be going Phish-ing… in the best possible sense. (Unless you just hate the band Phish so much there is no best possible sense.) The Democratic presidential candidate has previously indicated his love for the group, and when a reporter suggested Phish play at his theoretical swearing-in festivities in 2021, [...]

  • National Enquirer - Jeff Bezos

    Hudson Media CEO James Cohen Purchases the National Enquirer

    Hudson Media’s CEO James Cohen announced Thursday that he will purchase the National Enquirer as well as American Media’s other tabloids, the Globe and the National Examiner. With the purchase of the National Enquirer, which Cohen reportedly bought for $100 million, he plans to strengthen their collaborative efforts, documentary shows, weekly podcasts, and theme parks. [...]

  • Donald Trump

    HBO Fires Back at Trump's 'Game of Thrones'-Inspired 'No Collusion' Tweet

    HBO is firing back at President Donald Trump after he sent another “Game of Thrones”-inspired tweet in response to the release of a redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the Russia investigation. “Though we can understand the enthusiasm for ‘Game of Thrones’ now that the final season has arrived, we still prefer [...]

  • Mueller Report Released: Networks Cut the

    Networks Curb Their Enthusiasm, William Barr Flexes as Mueller Report Goes Public

    The run-up to Attorney General William Barr’s news conference regarding the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the conduct of President Donald Trump suggested it was just one component part of a busy news day, something close to business as usual. And the broadcast — in which Barr stormily defended the President as [...]

  • Mueller Report: Redacted Version of Trump

    Mueller's Report Details Possible Trump Obstruction but Reaches No Conclusion

    WASHINGTON — Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the Russia investigation leaves open the question of whether President Donald Trump committed obstruction of justice, making clear that Trump was not exonerated. That was one of many takeaways after a redacted version of the highly anticipated document was released to the public on Thursday, captivating Congress, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content