Earth-shattering news broke Wednesday afternoon as Justice Anthony Kennedy announced he is retiring from the Supreme Court. Today was the court’s last day in session for this term.
Kennedy is the only real swing vote on the court, and the news comes after a string of victories for the Trump administration, delivered in large part by newly Trump-appointed Justice Neal Gorsuch. Moreover, contrary to generally accepted practice, Kennedy is basically leaving the court immediately.
Letter from Justice Kennedy announcing the news: pic.twitter.com/3JzlqI8amZ
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) June 27, 2018
Justice Kennedy is 82 years old, the second oldest member of the court. His retirement sooner rather than later is not a surprise, although the fact that he is departing immediately, rather than sticking around until a new justice is confirmed, is somewhat unusual.
This is an important opportunity for Republicans, to say the least, who now have an opportunity to ensure a more conservative court for decades.
This post may be updated with breaking information as it becomes available.
UPDATE: The President will push for confirmation immediately, ahead of November’s midterm elections.
President Trump will push for the swift confirmation of a Supreme Court justice "before the midterm elections." A list of well-established conservatives is in place, so a nomination is expected to come "within weeks," White House official tells CNN. https://t.co/VqlDannmZp pic.twitter.com/FIKGUs6Op2
— The Lead CNN (@TheLeadCNN) June 27, 2018