Anthony Kennedy: US supreme court justice to retire

Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington

Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington

The conservative has been a pivotal vote on many decisions including the 5-4 rulings that decided same-sex marriage and upheld abortion rights.

Despite the Republican majority, Sherrilyn Ifill of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund says she's confident senators can be persuaded to hold off.

A person familiar with the process said White House officials are focused primarily on five federal appeals court judges - Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett, Thomas Hardiman, Raymond Kethledge and Amul Thapar - all Republican appointees with conservative track records.

"Justice Kennedy's retirement presents an opportunity for the President to appoint and the Senate to confirm a principled constitutionalist who will defend the Bill of Rights, defend the fundamental liberties of Americans, and I am hopeful that is exactly that will happen", he said. The moderate justice often sided with the court's liberal bloc, however, and wrote the majority opinion in favor of marriage equality in 2015.

Trump says he thinks that is "inappropriate to discuss".

The ban had undergone several revisions since its chaotic introduction just days into Trump's presidency, but each one had been rejected by lower courts as either illegal or unconstitutional.

Trump told reporters in the Oval Office Wednesday that the same 25 names that were on the list when he chose Neil Gorsuch are up for consideration as Kennedy's replacement.

But for Republicans who have feared a massive enthusiasm advantage for Democrats, the sudden vacancy that could shape the court's direction for a generation was nothing short of a gift from the political gods. Now a confirmation vote to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy will come just months before the midterms.

"A confirmation of this historic magnitude ... the American people should have a voice", he said.

De Sousa said he understood the significance because of his background as a constitutional lawyer.

Conservative groups that came together past year for a $17 million campaign to confirm Justice Neil Gorsuch, Trump's first Supreme Court nominee, have prepped for months behind the scenes for this potential vacancy. Trump said Friday that he may consider as many as seven candidates.

He added: "I look forward to having the nominee before us in the Senate Judiciary Committee for his or her hearing in the weeks ahead".

He notified President Trump in a letter Wednesday, telling him that effective July 31, he would "end my regular active status as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, while continuing to serve in a senior status". Chris Hollen (D-MD) said Kennedy's replace should assume the bench after November.

He penned the Supreme Court's first major gay-rights decision in 1996, protecting LGBT Americans from discrimination.

He called Kennedy a "spectacular man" with "tremendous heart" and said he hoped to pick somebody who will be as "outstanding" as Kennedy has been.

"It will be somebody from that list", Trump said, speaking at a press conference with Portuguese President Rebelo de Sousa.

After 30 years on the Supreme Court, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy is stepping down. But Kennedy was the court's leading champion of gay rights and he joined the court's liberals in cases on abortion, affirmative action and the death penalty.

On Wednesday, the day of Kennedy's retirement, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 for a child-support specialist who challenged an IL law requiring government workers to pay partial union dues, even if they're not members, to cover the cost of negotiations on their behalf.

Kennedy's resignation opens a second seat for President Donald Trump to fill.

Since then, we have had another year to observe the Trump administration's downward spiral into cruelty and incoherence, an approach to governing that has not spared the judicial branch. He said he's not going to ask them whether they'd vote to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion-rights ruling, a decadeslong aspiration of the Republican Party. "Without the 60-vote filibuster requirement [which is not required for votes on Supreme Court nominees], I expect the nominee will be confirmed".

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