Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announces retirement


Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced Wednesday that he will retire, effective next month.

>> Read more trending news

Update 4:45 p.m. EDT June 27: As President Donald Trump prepares to nominate a new U.S. Supreme Court justice to replace the retiring Anthony Kennedy, Democratic leaders like, Sen. Chuck Schumer, are weighing in on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s announcement that he plans to call a vote in the Senate to replace Kennedy before the midterm elections in November.

“Our Republican colleagues in the Senate should follow the rule they set in 2016 not to consider a Supreme Court justice in an election year,” Schumer said Wednesday afternoon, just hours after Kennedy’s retirement announcement.

“Sen. McConnell would tell anyone who listened that the Senate had the right to advise and consent and that was every bit as important as the president’s right to nominate,” he said, referring to the almost yearlong vacancy on the court after Justice Antonin Scalia suddenly died in early 2016 while President Barack Obama was still in office.

“Millions of people are just months away from determining the senators who should vote to confirm or reject the president’s nominee and their voices deserve to be heard now as Leader McConnell thought they deserved to be heard then. Anything but that would be the absolute height of hypocrisy,” Schumer said.  

(Original story)

In a letter addressed to President Donald Trump, Kennedy said he intended to end his time as an associate Justice starting July 31.

"For a member of the legal profession it is the highest of honors to serve on this Court," Kennedy wrote. "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."

 

Trump told reporters Wednesday that officials will immediately begin the search for a new Supreme Court Justice. The president said he plans to chose from the list of 25 people he previously considered to fill late Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat.

 

“He is a man who has displayed tremendous vision and tremendous heart, and he will be missed,” Trump said. “Hopefully we’ll pick someone who will be as outstanding.”

>> From Jamie Dupree: Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy to retire

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday that lawmakers will vote this fall to approve of Kennedy’s replacement.

Kennedy, 81, was appointed to serve on the nation’s highest court in 1987 by President Ronald Reagan. He took his oath of office on Feb. 18, 1988.

“It has been the greatest honor and privilege to serve our nation in the federal judiciary for 43 years, 30 of those years on the Supreme Court,” Kennedy said in a statement released by the Supreme Court. He added that he made his decision to leave in order to spend more time with his family.

He is the longest-serving Justice currently on the court.

>> 5 things to know about the Supreme Court

Kennedy has been considered the “swing” vote among the nine justices for many years. With four strong conservatives -- Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, John Roberts and the late Scalia -- and four equally strident liberals -- Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg -- it often fell to the moderate Kennedy to cast a deciding vote on a case.

His decision leaves the court split with four liberal justices who were appointed by Democratic presidents and four conservatives chosen by Republicans. It also gives Trump the chance to cement conservative control of the high court.

 

Trump’s first high court nominee, Justice Neil Gorsuch, was confirmed in April 2017.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation & World

Woman accused of offering hit man earrings, cash to kill husband
Woman accused of offering hit man earrings, cash to kill husband

A Jacksonville mother is accused of trying to hire a hit man to murder her husband. Police say Crystal Ely offered an undercover officer money and jewelry in exchange for killing her husband. She gave the hit man a detailed diagram of the interior of his place of business, the report said.  The suspect the remains behind bars at...
Deadly Eastern equine encephalitis virus found in mosquito in metro Atlanta
Deadly Eastern equine encephalitis virus found in mosquito in metro Atlanta

The DeKalb County health department announced Tuesday that a mosquito tested positive for the deadly Eastern equine encephalitis virus. >> Read more trending news  Humans rarely become infected and cases are uncommon in Georgia, Ryan Cira, the environmental health director for the DeKalb Board of Health, said. However, 33 percent...
Man accused of taking wife with dementia to fair on leash, 'yanking' it when she wandered
Man accused of taking wife with dementia to fair on leash, 'yanking' it when she wandered

A Maryland man was arrested Saturday at a Pennsylvania fair after witnesses said he yanked a leash attached to his mentally impaired wife’s neck so hard it caused her head to snap back and left red marks around her throat, police said.  Walter William Wolford Sr., 66, of Hagerstown, is charged with simple assault. He was released Sunday...
Ariana Grande stepping away from public eye 'to heal and mend'
Ariana Grande stepping away from public eye 'to heal and mend'

Despite fan speculation that she would be at the Emmys Monday night, Ariana Grande didn’t show. The rumors led the singer’s representatives to confirm that she will be taking time out of the spotlight. >> Read more trending news  “Contrary to reports, Ariana will not be attending the Emmys tonight,” Grande’s...
Can drinking whole-fat milk, eating dairy lower heart disease risk?
Can drinking whole-fat milk, eating dairy lower heart disease risk?

Many health conscious grocery shoppers tend to flock toward low-fat milk and dairy products, but new research suggests whole-fat dairy may be better for your heart than you think. >> Read more trending news  An analysis of 136,384 individuals across 21 countries and five continents found that higher intake of whole milk and yogurt was...
More Stories