Kennedy Retirement Rumor Augurs High Court Shift
He turns 81 next month. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s clerks’ accelerated reunion plans have fueled speculation that he’d announce his retirement when the court wraps up its nine-month term tomorrow. Serving for three decades since his appointment by President Ronald Reagan, Kennedy’s generally aligned with the court’s conservative majority. But his swing vote has also enabled a 2015 decision legalizing same-sex marriages and other liberal rulings, meaning a new Donald Trump appointee could move the court rightward and, one legal activist predicted, sound the “death knell” for legal abortions.