Statement on Justice Kennedy’s Retirement from the Supreme Court

June 27, 2018

Hayley Burgess, [email protected], 202-805-0375

Statement on Justice Kennedy’s Retirement from the Supreme Court

WASHINGTON — Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement today from the United States Supreme Court. Kennedy, who was appointed to the Court in 1987, authored several landmark decisions in his tenure as an associate justice.

Below is a statement from Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center:

“Justice Kennedy’s announcement has sent shockwaves to the millions of us who read and dissected his opinions in law school and as litigators. Although some of us may not have always agreed with his opinions, it was clear that he both respected and understood his awesome responsibility to the American people.

“The events of the recent weeks underscore the pivotal moment our country is in. Ranging from the traumatic separations of families at the border to this week’s Supreme Court decisions on the Muslim ban, we are reminded that the soul of our nation is at stake. The president, the Senate, and the American people have a responsibility to ensure that Kennedy’s replacement is able to administer justice fairly to all of us, regardless of the color of our skin, where we were born, how much money we have, or what our faith is.

“The stakes could not be higher, both for the courts and for the nation. It is now up to the Senate to ensure it fulfills one of its most important duties and serves to check and balance this most important of upcoming judicial nominations. As Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in 2016 after Justice Antonin Scalia died, leaving a vacancy on the Court, the American people should have a say in determining who fills this important seat. We urge the Senate to take a similarly deliberative approach now. November is a few short months from now, and voters should remember that while those they elect to the Senate or the House will serve for terms of six or two years, a Supreme Court justice appointment lasts for life.”