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Speculation Builds: Will SCOTUS Centrist Kennedy Retire Monday?

Monday marks the final day of the Supreme Court’s work calendar, a day sometimes associated with retirement announcements…

Anthony Kennedy Retirement

Will he or won’t he? That’s the question for Anthony Kennedy, 80, the Supreme Court’s centrist member who is reportedly considering retirement after the court’s session ends Monday.

The last justice to retire, John Paul Stevens, left the court on June 29, 2010.

Prior to Stevens, Sandra Day O’Connor announced her retirement on July 1, 2005. O’Connor’s resignation was contingent on her replacement’s confirmation and did not take effect until January 31, 2006.

Similarly, Justices Byron White, Lewis Franklin Powell, Jr., William Brennan, and Earl Warren were all notable June or July retirees in the past few decades.

Should Kennedy decide to retire, it would set off a firestorm in Washington, D.C., which just saw a bitterly-partisan fight to replace Justice Antonin Scalia finally come to a close with the confirmation of Justice Neil Gorsuch in April.

Kennedy, appointed by President Reagan in 1987, “has been a crucial swing vote on the nine-member court for more than a decade,” since the retirement of O’Connor.