If the rumors are true, Justice Neil Gorsuch may not be the only new face on the Supreme Court during the first years of Trump’s presidency. Recent reports suggest Justice Anthony Kennedy may have his sights on retiring soon, though it’s too early to tell when and if his retirement will occur. But at 80 years old, it’s not surprising Justice Kennedy may be considering taking a break from the spotlight.
Kennedy is known for being a centrist conservative. This Supreme Court Justice has spent his career as the often-times center point for controversial decisions. Indeed, Justice Kennedy’s vote has been key for issues like abortion, gay marriage and others.
Appointed by then-President Ronald Reagan in 1988, Kennedy has been a part of the Supreme Court for nearly 30 years. Sources say that while the position is demanding, and the burdens of age are increasing, it seems Kennedy’s passion for the constitution and democratic process have kept him in action all these years. But at the same time, reports indicate that his friends and family say he is considering hanging up his hat, so to speak.
Whoever were to replace Kennedy would certainly have big shoes to fill, especially given that he “controls the outcome of cases like no other justice in more than a decade.”
Whether or not Kennedy plans on retiring is not clear; even President Trump says he doesn’t know what the Justice’s plans are right now.
As recently reported, the President said, “I don’t know. I have a lot of respect for Justice Kennedy, but I just don’t know. I don’t like talking about it. I’ve heard the same rumors that a lot of people have heard. And I have a lot of respect for that gentleman, a lot.”
The uncertainty hasn’t stopped members of both political parties from compiling a list of potential candidates to fill the possible vacancy, however.