Kennedy considering retiring from Supreme Court: reports

Kennedy considering retiring from Supreme Court: reports
© Greg Nash

Speculation is swirling that Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy could announce his retirement as early as this term, The Associated Press and CNN reported Saturday.

Kennedy is considered the most pivotal justice on the Supreme Court, often known for casting the tie-breaking vote in key decisions. 

While he's among the court's conservative justices, he has sided with his liberal colleagues at times, including on the court's 2015 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, permitting same-sex marriage nationwide. 

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But Kennedy, now 80, is said to be considering stepping down from the Supreme Court, according to CNN, though he has not publicly signalled he will do so in the next year.

Fueling such speculation is a reunion between Kennedy and his clerks happening over the weekend that was pushed up a year from its original date, according to the AP.

If Kennedy leaves the Supreme Court in the near future, it would pave the way for President TrumpDonald TrumpSanders calls out Manchin, Sinema ahead of filibuster showdown Laura Ingraham 'not saying' if she'd support Trump in 2024 The Hill's 12:30 Report: Djokovic may not compete in French Open over vaccine requirement MORE to further shape the court by nominating his replacement. Trump's first pick for the court, Justice Neil GorsuchNeil GorsuchSupreme Court agrees to hear case on HS coach's suspension over on-field prayers The Supreme Court, vaccination and government by Fox News Supreme Court blocks Biden's vaccine-or-test mandate for employers MORE, was confirmed in April.

Supreme Court nominations, however, have become increasingly political. Senate Republicans voted earlier this year to change the chamber's rules to require only 51 votes to confirm nominees to the high court, amid efforts by Democrats to block Gorsuch's confirmation.