Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announces his retirement
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his resignation from the nation's highest court Wednesday, sparking immediate reaction from politicians, journalists and commentators across the political spectrum.
Liberal groups bemoaned Kennedy's decision, as the Sacramento native appointed by Ronald Reagan has been a key swing vote in a number of court cases that bolstered progressive goals. Now, most believe, President Donald Trump will nominate a more reliably conservative justice.
"With this vacancy, Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell hold the balance of the court in their hands – and with it, the legal right to access abortion in this country," Planned Parenthood said in a statement. "President Trump has promised to only appoint justices who will overturn Roe v. Wade. The idea of Trump having his choice to fill another vacancy is terrifying for not only abortion rights, but for our ability to live free from discrimination in this country."
Democrats pointed to Republicans' decision to delay confirmation hearings for Merrick Garland's nomination until after the 2016 election as a reason for Trump to wait on selecting Kennedy's successor.
"Shouldn't the Republican Senate invoke its own 'Garland Doctrine' and wait for the results of the next presidential election before filling his seat?" Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted.
But conservative activists and politicians were focused on praising Kennedy's career and eagerly anticipated the nomination of a new justice.
Kennedy "helped chart the course of American jurisprudence, and made his mark as a staunch defender of First Amendment rights, especially the freedom of speech and religious liberty," Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, told reporters. "I look forward to having the nominee before us in the Senate Judiciary Committee for his or her hearing in the weeks ahead."
View more reactions from Twitter below.