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US Supreme Court judge to retire

28 June, 2018, 06:28 | Author: Kristen Ingram
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"We will stand up for the Constitution, basic decency and fundamental American values", Ferguson said in announcing the filing of the new suit.

"One thing that energizes conservatives more than anything else is the Supreme Court", said Sen.

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In a stunning development, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his impending retirement from the nation's highest court on Wednesday.

Without Kennedy, the court will be split between four liberal justices who were appointed by Democratic presidents and four conservatives who were named by Republicans. He proved instrumental in advancing gay rights, buttressing abortion rights and erasing political spending limits.

"Not since key decisions on slavery, segregation in schools, and Japanese American incarceration have we seen a decision that so clearly fails to protect those most vulnerable to government-led discrimination", added Farhana Khera, executive director of the group Muslim Advocates.

Kennedy was born on July 23, 1936, which will make him 82 years old when he retires on July 31.

It's also possible that Roberts appears more liberal because, as the chief justice, he has an incentive to join the majority in cases where his vote alone can not change the decision; this tactic allows him to influence decisions he doesn't fully agree with, rather than simply dissenting.

"He is a man who has displayed tremendous vision and tremendous heart and he will be missed", Trump said.

To figure out how Trump's nominee might transform the court's ideological makeup, we looked at potential candidates' Judicial Common Space scores, which measure judicial ideology relative to the full court, the president and Congress.

Pragmatically, with the Republicans in control of the Senate, the chances are very slim.

Regardless of who replaces him, Kennedy's departure will be a major change for the high court, where he has been the crucial swing vote for more than a decade. Most notably, he wrote the 2015 ruling on Obergefell v Hodges, which found that a ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. Having voted on both sides of the ideological spectrum, Kennedy has always been considered the Court's "swing" justice. After Gorsuch's nomination, Trump released an updated list in November 2017 with 25 names, including Willett.

He joined his fellow conservatives in the 2000 ruling that effectively gave the USA presidency to Republican George W. Bush, rather than Democrat Al Gore, by preventing any more vote recounts in Florida.

Kennedy personally delivered his retirement letter to the White House on Wednesday afternoon, after he told his fellow justices of his plans at their afternoon conference.

In the spring of 2016, before his election, Trump issued a list of 11 conservative judges he considered "representative of the kind of constitutional principles I value" and saying he would use it as "a guide to nominate our next United State Supreme Court justices".

While Kennedy sided with conservative colleagues on many issues and authored the landmark 2010 ruling that allowed unlimited corporate spending in political campaigns, his tenure also included strong support for the liberal cause of gay rights. During arguments, Kennedy leaned forward in his black leather chair, looking earnest and wearing wire-rimmed glasses, often asking probing questions of the lawyers.

Kennedy, previously a federal appeals court judge in California, was actually Reagan's third choice for the job.

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