He hasn’t said anything official but the rumor mill in Washington is buzzing over whether Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy is going to be announcing plans to retire soon.
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.
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.
With DC mired in politically motivated investigations and healthcare legislation hysteria, and rebounding from an attempted mass shooting of Republican Congressman and Senators, another Supreme Court nomination fight will certainly add to the chaos and grandstanding.
Kennedy is a “swing vote” on the Court and replacing him is likely to whip up more intense debate than replacing the late Justice Antonin Scalia with Neil Gorsuch did. Gorsuch in theory maintains the status quo but a replacement for Kennedy could shift the balance of the court.