In a speech last week, Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) said that he believes Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy will retire this summer. The speech was obtained by Politico.
According to Politico, Heller said in the speech, “Kennedy is going to retire around sometime early summer. Which I’m hoping will get our base a little motivated because right now they’re not very motivated. But I think a new Supreme Court justice will get them motivated.”
Multiple reports from last June claimed Kennedy was considering announcing his retirement.
80-year-old justice seemingly squashed those rumors in January, however, when he hired four law clerks for the October term.
Kennedy, who was appointed to the court by President Reagan in 1988, is considered the most pivotal justice on the Supreme Court.
He is often known for casting the tie-breaking votes in controversial decisions.
While he is one of the more conservative justices, he has sided with his liberal colleagues on several occasions. In the court’s 2015 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, for example, he voted to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide.
If Kennedy retires, it would set up President Trump to fill a second Supreme Court seat after nominating Neil Gorsuch last year to replace Antonin Scalia, who died in 2016, while President Obama was still in office.
Trump made the appointment of a new conservative justice to the court one of the main promises of his presidential campaign.
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Credit: The Hill