US Supreme Court judge to retire

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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement, announced on Wednesday, could put some of his signature rulings in jeopardy, including ones that expanded or preserved gay rights and abortion rights.

"We will vote to confirm Justice Kennedy's successor this fall", he said while speaking on the Senate floor immediately after the news. Democrats insisted that McConnell follow the same approach now.

Two of the next three oldest Supreme Court justices are liberal.

He cast the deciding votes on gay marriage and gun ownership, prayer and privacy, campaign finance and capital punishment.

The potential fallout from Anthony Kennedy's absence from the Supreme Court came quickly after the perpetual swing vote announced his retirement on Wednesday.

In Trump's first year in office the Senate rejected the eradication of the Affordable Care Act and the Federal Court blocked his ban on people from several Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.

Abortion is likely to be one of the flash points in the nomination fight. Mr. Trump did not answer questions about who Kennedy recommended.

The 81-year-old Kennedy said in a statement he is stepping down after more than 30 years on the court. "I expect the President will soon nominate someone for the Senate to consider". In the end, Kennedy switched sides and led the court in ruling that public school officials violate the constitutionally required separation of church and state when they invite clergy members to say prayers - invocations and benedictions - at graduation ceremonies.

McConnell added that he looks forward to another "outstanding selection" from Trump.

But they, or at least those of them who remember "Macbeth", might now say that nothing in Kennedy's career became him like the leaving it. McConnell told Fox News that Republicans believe some combination of Democratic support is possible. "I think that's one thing (that) energizes conservatives more than anything else, is the Supreme Court". "Departure of Justice Kennedy means a historic challenge is ahead". Ted Cruz called the moment to replace Kennedy an "opportunity" for Republicans, who have the majority in the Senate, to choose someone who represents their values. "Leader McConnell set that standard in 2016 when he denied Judge Garland a hearing for almost a year, and the Senate should follow the McConnell Standard", Sen Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said in a statement. Mike Lee told reporters that Kennedy's retirement is "big news" and as a lifelong watcher of the court, he's very interested in what comes next. At just 50 years old, Gorsuch is now the youngest associate justice on the court.

"Hopefully, we will pick someone who is just as outstanding", he said. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has committed to confirming a nominee in the fall, which the Republican-controlled Senate should be able to do if McConnell can hold his razor-thin majority together.

In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court bench handed over President Trump one of his biggest victories since taking charge of the White House in January a year ago, by upholding his executive order that sought ban on travelling from five Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, agreed with leadership in a statement that there shouldn't be a vote on a replacement until after the midterms.

"It will make even more compelling the Republican argument that they have delivered on their promises and future control of the Senate is critical to accomplish conservative goals", he said.

What happens to the Supreme Court until there's a new justice? But Republicans have scoffed at that suggestion, pointing out Obama nominated Justice Elena Kagan ahead of the 2010 midterm elections.

Besides Feinstein, Sens. Patty Murray, Mazie Hirono and Chris Murphy have said they hope for the same.

A sign that the White House is also focusing on these Democrats: Sen.

Indeed, a similar scenario played out in 2016 and, two years later, the strategy is proving successful for Republicans.

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