Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced that he is retiring from the Supreme Court effective July 31, 2018.
“It has been the greatest honor and privilege to serve our nation in the federal judiciary for 43 years, 30 of those years on the Supreme Court,” Kennedy said in a statement.
Justice Kennedy has typically been the pivotal justice in nearly every major issue that faced the court in recent years. The retirement will give President Trump the chance to harden the conservative bloc on the Court and sets up an epic partisan showdown on Justice Kennedy’s successor. It will be the first time in more than 25 years that a new justice could radically change the direction of the court.
Justice Kennedy, now 81, joined the court in 1988 and was chosen by President Ronald Reagan.