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Justice Anthony Kennedy Hints at Possible Retirement

On the last day of the Supreme Court term, there was speculation that Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy would announce his retirement, but no such announcement came.

However, rumors of Kennedy’s future on the Court continue this week as it was recently reported that the 81-year-old justice has informed law clerk applicants for the Court’s term beginning in October 2018 that he is, in fact, considering vacating the bench.

According to the report, Kennedy, who is widely regarded as the swing vote of the Court, signaled that his potential retirement could come just before the 2018 midterm elections.

Constitutionally, any nominee to fill a Supreme Court vacancy is chosen by the president with the advice and consent on the Senate.

A retirement just before the 2018 midterms, where voters will get to help decide which party will be in control of Congress’s upper chamber, could greatly affect voters’ choices when they head to the ballot box.

If the 2018 Senate map is any indication, Kennedy’s retirement could be good news for the President Donald Trump and the GOP. With the likelihood of the Republican Party’s ability to keep control of the Senate, Trump would be able to nominate another conservative in the mold of his first nominee, Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch.

However, if the Democrats take the Senate, they will have more power to block any nominee they find to be too conservative and against their values.