The 81-year-old Kennedy said he is stepping down after more than 30 years on the Supreme Court.
Justice Anthony Kennedy announced Wednesday that he is retiring, giving President Trump a critical opportunity to move the Supreme Court more solidly to the right in what promises to be an epic confirmation fight.
The 81-year-old senior associate justice informed the White House in a letter of his intention to step down from the high court after 30 years, effective July 31. Rumors of another vacancy have reverberated across Washington for months; the decision comes a year after Kennedy’s former law clerk Neil Gorsuch took over the seat occupied by the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
Trump, reacting to the opportunity to select a second high court pick, called Kennedy a “great justice” and said he’d begin the search for a replacement immediately.