Audio reveals DNC committee reaction to Kennedy retirement: 'This is not good news'

Audio taken during a Democratic National Committee (DNC) Rules Committee conference call reveals the immediate reaction to the news Wednesday of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement.

In the audio clip shared on Twitter by Politico reporter David Siders, Democrats on the call express disappointment that Kennedy, a moderate conservative justice known for often being a swing vote, would be retiring.

After one participant reads the news aloud, cries of “oh,” and “oh my god” can be heard. The audio was taken during a public conference call on superdelegate reform.

“This is not good news,” one person says.

Another attendee points to Kennedy’s status as the court’s swing vote, but pointed out that he sided with the conservative majority in several recent rulings, including the decision to uphold President Trump’s travel ban.

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“Not that he’s done us any good on these recent decisions, but he was the one that was usually persuadable,” the attendee says in the clip.

Kennedy’s departure opens the door for Trump to make his second Supreme Court nomination. Democrats have already expressed concern that whoever Trump appoints will swing the court farther to the right, and clear a path for anti-abortion advocates and other conservative movements to bring more cases.