18.06.28 Kennedy Scotus

June 28, 2018
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Justice Kennedy Retires

President Trump receives 2nd Supreme Court pick with potential impact on America’s future.

Why This Matters


Racial Segregation
Gay Marriage

  • Examples of Supreme Court’s decisions that changed the course of America forever.
  • JusticesA serve 16 years on average, plenty of opportunity to weigh-in on casesA that impact everyday lives of all Americans.

Who is Justice Kennedy?

  • 81-year-old to retire at end of July.
  • Served 30+ years
  • Nominated by Pres. Reagan.
  • Arguably the most powerful member of SCOTUS – his moderate-conservative views often made him the “swing vote ” in hot-button cases.
  • Best known for 2015 ruling on constitutional right to same-sex marriage.

Why Kennedy’s Vacancy Matters

  • Recent vacancies: Move comes a year after Kennedy’s former law clerk Neil Gorsuch took over late Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat.
  • Close votes:A Gorsuch & Kennedy were key votes in 2 controversial decisions this week, upholding Trump’s ‘travel ban’ & ruling against union’s ‘fair share’ fees. Both decisions were 5-4.

Next Steps

  • Pres. Trump will name a nominee within weeks, setting in motion a process that could allow Senate confirmation by the time the court reconvenes in October.
  • Only a simple majority is required for confirmation. GOP leaders changed the rules when Gorsuch was being considered in order to get rid of the 60-vote procedural filibuster threshold.

The President published a previous list of potential Supreme Court nominees. Interesting to note. Kennedy retires at the age of 81. Ruth Bader Ginsberg is 85. Stephen Breyer will turn 80 this year. Both "liberal" justices.

by Jenna Lee,