Justice Anthony Kennedy Retires

Justice Anthony Kennedy, a key moderate conservative swing vote on the Supreme Court, announced his retirement on Wednesday. His departure will give President Trump an opportunity to take another step in pushing the high court to the right, after appointing Justice Neil Gorsuch to a seat Republicans kept open by refusing to consider former President Barack Obama's nominee. The fight over that seat, left vacant after conservative stalwart Justice Antonin Scalia's death, offered a preview of what is expected to be a bitter battle over confirming Kennedy's successor. Liberals are concerned another hardline conservative could threaten abortion rights and set up an expansion of gun rights, but Democrats lack options to block a Trump nominee without help from moderate Republicans.

Discussion Questions:

  • Why do you think Kennedy chose to retire now?
  • Who do you think Trump will appoint to replace Kennedy?
  • Do you think a Trump nominee will be able to survive the Senate? Why or why not?