US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announces retirement after 30 year long career

28 June 2018

US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announces retirement after 30 year long career

US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy has announced his retirement, ending a 30-year long career in the court.

Mr Kennedy, who is now 81 years old, said on Thursday morning that he will step down from his position, giving US president Donald Trump the chance to fill the vacancy in the country’s top court with a more conservative Justice.

The soon-to-be former Supreme Court Justice, who’s retirement will take effect on July 31, has become one of the most influential jurists since joining the court in 1988 as an appointee of Republican president Ronald Reagan.

His career in the top position has seen advancements in gay rights, reinforcing abortion rights and erasing political spending limits.

While remaining a conservative throughout his career, Justice Kennedy was known to join liberal justices on key issues, earning a reputation as the court’s “swing” vote.

“It has been the greatest honour and privilege to serve our nation in the federal judiciary for 43 years, 30 of those years on the Supreme Court,” Justice Kennedy said in a statement.

Mr Kennedy has said that his retirement was motivated by his decision to spend more time with his family.

Mr Trump, who met shortly with Justice Kennedy before the announcement was made, said, “He is a man who’s displayed great vision, he’s displayed tremendous vision.”

“[We] had a very deep discussion. I got his ideas on things,” the President said from the Oval Office.

“I asked him if he had certain people he had great respect for that could potentially take his seat.”

Mr Trump currently has 25 candidates that could potentially fill the position.