Washington, June 28 (RHC)-- U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy has announced that he is retiring, giving President Donald Trump the chance to pick yet another justice for the court and shift its ideological balance even farther to the right for years to come.
The announcement came shortly after Chief Justice John Roberts adjourned the court for the summer recess. The justice delivered a letter to White House Wednesday afternoon, informing Trump of his decision, effective July 31st.
Nominated by President Ronald Reagan and confirmed in 1988, Kennedy, who is now 82 years old, is the court's longest-serving member and second-oldest justice. During his tenure, Kennedy has sided with liberals on several issues, including efforts to save ObamaCare and limit the death penalty.
His retirement is bad news for liberals, who are already angry with the Republicans' refusal to give President Barrack Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland, a fair hearing at Congress although Obama still had a year in office and was legally responsible for filling the vacancy at the top court after the late Justice Antonin Scalia's death. Later when Trump assumed office, he nominated a conservative figure, Neil Gorsuch, to replace him.