President Donald Trump has announced that the search for a replacement for retired Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy will “begin immediately.”
He told a rally in North Dakota: “We have to choose one who will be there for 40 years, 45 years.”
The resignation of Judge Kennedy, a Conservative who sided with the Liberals with many votes, gives President Trump a chance to shift the balance at the top of the court to the right for decades to come.
The 81-year-old judge will retire on July 31.
Judge Anthony Kennedy made the announcement on June 27, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family after 30 years at the top of the court. President Trump later praised Judge Kennedy – who conducted the main vote in many key cases – as “a great judge of the Supreme Court.”
The Supreme Court upheld Trump’s travel ban on Muslim countries
“We hope to choose someone who will be so remarkable.” the president told reporters at the White House. The judge’s resignation gives President Trump the second Supreme Court election since he became president, and he said he would choose from a list of 25 conservative candidates.
The Supreme Court has played a key role in American life and is often the last word on highly controversial laws, disputes between states and the federal government, and final appeals to stop executions.
This week, the Supreme Court upheld President Trump’s travel ban, which covers people from several Muslim-majority countries, in a 5-4 conservative majority decision. Earlier this month, a court ruled in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple.
During a rally in Fargo, North Dakota, on June 27, President Trump told his supporters that Anthony Kennedy chose to retire under his presidency, “because he felt confident in me to make the right choice and continue my great heritage ”.
Donald Trump has promised to remove names from the same list from which he selected Neil Gorsuh in February 2017.
Instead of serving fixed terms, judges serve for life, unless they decide to retire. This makes their appointments particularly significant.
Anthony Kennedy, the second-oldest justice in the nine-member U.S. Supreme Court, has earned a reputation as a conservative with swaying votes who backed liberal arguments on key decisions, including decisions 5 to 4 that decided same-sex marriage and supported abortion rights.