Justice Kennedy, who turns 83 next month, arrived at the White House yesterday to hand-deliver his letter of resignation to President Donald Trump. Mr. Kennedy has served on the Supreme Court for over thirty years, making him one of the longest serving justices in history, with over 11,000 days in office.
He cites a desire to spend time with friends and family as his reason for leaving a prestigious and eventful career which has spanned decades.
Mr. Kennedy’s departure from the Supreme Court is significant. The retirement of the court’s most conspicuous swing vote has caused significant turmoil on both sides of the aisle, and may play a deciding factor in the court’s decisions for years to come. It is also almost certain to lead to a heated battle in congress over his replacement.
Justice Kennedy leaves behind a legacy as a conservative justice and a defender of civil libertarianism and individual rights. Judicial watchers consider Mr. Kennedy to be one of the court’s most pivotal swing votes, often casting the deciding vote for many of the most momentous cases in modern memory.
As a constitutional conservative, he delivered victories for 1st and 2nd Amendment rights, and imposed limitations to public sector unions and congressional authority under the commerce clause. But he regularly sided with the court’s more liberal justices on topics related to abortion and same sex marriage.
Anthony Kennedy has spent a lifetime working in the American justice system, first in private practice, where he ran his father’s San Francisco law firm after his death, and later, as a judge on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Mr. Kennedy was nominated by former President Ronald Reagan and confirmed by the 100th United States Congress on February 18th, 1988.
The team at Bilecki Law Group wishes Mr. Kennedy a happy and fulfilling retirement, and we thank him for his service to the United States of America.