PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Rumors over whether 80-year-old Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy is planning to retire reached a fever pitch just as the court issued its ruling Monday to partially reinstate President Trump’s travel ban. But liberal nerves are still on edge.
The death of Justice Antonin Scalia started a year-long political battle for the court. President Donald Trump use the conflict promising he’d keep the court in balance. His major win came when he appointed conservative Neil Gorsuch to the bench.
“Many people thought that Justice Kennedy might pass the baton so to speak to his colleague Justice Gorsuch,” said Drexel law professor Lisa Tucker.
Tucker says Justice Kennedy helped to train Gorsuch, who was his clerk. And since Kennedy has been on the bench for decades it was believed he’d step aside. But now Tucker says it’s unlikely to happen.
“He had a meeting with his former clerks this weekend and he specifically said he was not announcing that,” she said.
Tucker says judges often announce retirements on the last day of the term, which was Monday. But Friday is still a possibility. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor announced her retirement the Friday before the Fourth of July after she’d left Washington.