In what turned out to be one of the most important days in American history, Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his resignation from the Bench after more than thirty years of service. The 1987 appointee of President Ronald Reagan hand delivered President Donald Trump a resignation letter that stated:
My dear Mr. President,
This letter is a respectful and formal notification of my decision, effective July 31 of this year, to end my regular active status as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, while continuing to serve in a senior status, as provided in 28 U.S.C 371 (b).
For a member of the legal profession it is the highest of honors to serve on this Court. Please permit me by this letter to express my profound gratitude for having had the privilege to seek in each case how best to know, interpret, and defend the Constitution and the laws that must always conform to its mandates and promises.
Respectfully and sincerely,
The Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA) honors Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who announced his retirement from the Supreme Court today. In his over 30 years on the Court, he has written some of the most seminal opinions in modern jurisprudence, and he will be remembered as one of the most important Supreme Court justices in American history.
Justice Kennedy’s retirement leaves an important vacancy on the Supreme Court, and President Donald Trump will now have the opportunity to nominate a new Supreme Court justice from his superb list of potential Supreme Court nominees who respect the text of the Constitution and the role of the Court. While Senate Democrats have obstructed and delayed President Trump’s judicial nominees whenever possible, we trust that President Trump’s nominee will be vetted and confirmed due to the strong leadership of Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
RNLA President Elliot Berke stated: “Since he was appointed by President Reagan in his second term, Justice Kennedy has been an important voice on the Court. We wish him nothing but the best in retirement. President Trump has mentioned many excellent candidates to replace Justice Kennedy, and we urge the Senate to not play politics but consider his nominee in as expedient a manner as possible.”
RNLA Chair John Ryder agreed: “Justice Kennedy has been a champion of First Amendment rights from political speech to the free exercise of religion. His voice and views have made a great contribution to our understanding of the Constitution."
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell praised Justice Kennedy, particularly for his work in defending the First Amendment:
I want to express gratitude for the extraordinary service that Justice Kennedy has offered our nation. We owe him a debt of thanks for his ardent defense of the First Amendment right to political speech. #SCOTUS— Leader McConnell (@SenateMajLdr) June 27, 2018
Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Chuck Grassley said this of Justice Kennedy's tenure:
I thank Justice Kennedy for his decades of service to the law, to our republic + to the American ppl Our country owes him a debt of gratitude— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) June 27, 2018
The RNLA will update this blog post as additional news comes out.
Last updated: June 27, 2018 at 5:00pm.