By Robert Barnes
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy announced Wednesday that he is retiring from the Supreme Court, a move that will give President Trump a chance to replace the pivotal justice and solidify a more conservative majority on the court that plays a crucial role in American life.
“It has been the greatest honor and privilege to serve our nation in the federal judiciary for 43 years, 30 of those years on the Supreme Court,” Kennedy, 81, said in a statement released in the afternoon of the last day of the term. He said his final day will be July 31.
Kennedy’s role at the center of a court equally balanced between more predictable conservatives and more consistent liberals made him the most essential member of the modern court.
His opinions often spoke of “dignity” and “liberty,” and his notions of how the Constitution provides for and protects them had an outsize effect on Americans.
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