Rumors have been swirling (again) of Justice Kennedy’s possible retirement. He has been on the Court since 1988, which makes him the longest serving Justice on the Court. And, at 81 years-old, he is the second oldest member of the Court; only Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (who turns 85 tomorrow) is older. Earlier this month, Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) publicly predicted that Justice Kennedy’s retirement might come at the end of the summer. Skeptics of this claim quickly spoke out. Philip Wegmann of the Washington Examiner noted that Justice Kennedy has already hired clerks for next term. In Salon, Matthew Rozsa wrote that Senator Heller’s prediction was probably a ploy to mobilize Republicans in the upcoming midterm elections.
Kennedy, who was appointed by Ronald Reagan, may follow tradition and retire during a presidential administration of the same party that appointed him to the bench. Although this tradition has not always held, politics will surely play a role in Kennedy’s decision of when to retire, as Adam Liptak explains in the New York Times. Matt Ford of the New Republic offers the obvious but important conclusion: “The only person who really knows if Anthony Kennedy will retire from the Supreme Court this summer is Anthony Kennedy.”
In other, related news, Fox News reported that President Trump has been preparing for a potential vacancy on the Court by updating his list of potential Court nominees, drawing on “input from respected conservative leaders.”
In other, unrelated news, Slate’s Mark Stern, discussed the recent lawsuit filed by the National Rifle Association (NRA), in response to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act—a Florida law that raised the minimum age to purchase a gun in Florida from 18 to 21. The NRA argues that the law violates the Second Amendment. Stern predicted that “the NRA will almost certainly lose its Florida lawsuit within the next few months.”
This post was written by ISCOTUS Fellows Elisabeth Heiber and Matthew Webber, Chicago-Kent Class of 2019. It was edited by ISCOTUS Editorial Coordinator Anna Jirschele, Chicago-Kent Class of 2018, and ISCOTUS Co-Director and Chicago-Kent faculty member Christopher Schmidt.