Justice Anthony Kennedy is retiring from the Supreme Court, ending a career on the court that spanned just over 30 years and creating a second vacancy on the Supreme Court for President Trump.
The retirement will be effective July 31, according to a letter.
Kennedy celebrated his 30th anniversary on the Supreme Court in February, and as he nears 82, his retirement has frequently been the subject of speculation.
Kennedy’s retirement ensures the court will shift to the right, as Trump has vowed to pick nominees who are in the mold of the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Conservatives said Trump’s first pick, Justice Neil Gorsuch, fulfilled that promise.
Kennedy’s retirement is also likely to stoke fears from Democrats that the Supreme Court could overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that granted women the right to an abortion, once another Trump nominee is in place.
Kennedy is a native of Sacramento, Calif., who served on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and was nominated by President Ronald Reagan to the Supreme Court in 1987 at the age of 51. He took his seat on the Supreme Court in February 1988.
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