US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy is to retire, giving President Donald Trump the chance to cement a conservative majority on the top court.
The conservative has sided with liberals on many decisions including the 5-4 rulings that decided same-sex marriage and upheld abortion rights.
In his letter to Mr Trump, Justice Kennedy expressed “profound gratitude” for having served in the highest court.
The 81-year-old judge will retire on 31 July, he said in his letter.
He is the second-oldest justice on the nine-member US Supreme Court.-BBC
Justice Kennedy is retiring.
After Trump was elected, many asked, "What's the worst that can happen?"
This. This is the worst that can happen.
If anyone has any Trump tapes they've been holding onto until closer to the midterms, for the love of God release them now.
— Nick Jack Pappas (@Pappiness) June 27, 2018
Chuck Schumer should pull a McConnell today and argue that Justice Kennedy's SCOTUS replacement shouldn't be nominated until the investigation into the White House concludes. The American people should know their President is innocent before he gets another pick on the bench.
— Adam Best (@adamcbest) June 27, 2018
It's kind of crazy that I can't see the President of the United States statement on Justice Kennedy since he's blocked me, and there have *still* been no repercussions whatsoever on this blatant violation of my constitutional rights.
— William "civil" LeGate (@williamlegate) June 27, 2018
Justice Kennedy retiring… If you are deeply disturbed, absorb the shock. But respond with even more determination. If you see this as a fight for the future of democracy, let those in power know that the will of the majority can still hold sway. https://t.co/lcKhiAgKao
— Dan Rather (@DanRather) June 27, 2018
Statement from Chuck Schumer on Justice Kennedy retiring from Supreme Court:
“Our Republican colleagues in the Senate should follow the rule they set in 2016 — NOT TO CONSIDER A SUPREME COURT JUSTICE IN AN ELECTION YEAR.”
Great words @SenSchumer. NOW FIGHT!
— Ryan Knight 🌊 (@ProudResister) June 27, 2018
There is no single vacancy in the entire federal government with more long term consequences than Justice Kennedy’s seat — his replacement could decide some of America’s largest questions for a generation or more.
— Ari Melber (@AriMelber) June 27, 2018
When it comes time to decide on a replacement for Justice Kennedy, I hope that my Republican colleagues who believe that women, not the government, have the right to control their bodies will stand with those of us who oppose any nominee who would deny women the right to choose.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) June 27, 2018
RT to thank Justice Kennedy for his 30 years of service on the Supreme Court and steadfast commitment to upholding the Constitution. pic.twitter.com/GUH034vmlq
— GOP (@GOP) June 27, 2018
Garland nominated 237 days before election
McConnell: "The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice."
Kennedy signals retirement 132 days before election
McConnell: "It's imperative that the president's nominee be treated fairly."
— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) June 27, 2018
Justice Kennedy is retiring. Saying I'm worried about the future of reproductive rights in our country is a drastic understatement.
— Jess Phoenix (@jessphoenix2018) June 27, 2018
My statement on the retirement of Justice Kennedy.
“The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new Congress.”
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) June 27, 2018
Justice Kennedy retires. Gives Trump an opportunity to put another nail in the coffin of Democracy. The nightmare gets worse.
— Tony Schwartz (@tonyschwartz) June 27, 2018
Justice Kennedy's retirement also affects:
Roe v. Wade (1973)
Kennedy has declined to overturn abortion decision
Obergefell v. Hodges (2015)
Kennedy cast deciding vote for marriage equality
Fisher v. University of Texas (2016)
Kennedy cast deciding vote for affirmative action
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) June 27, 2018
#Justice Kennedy was a swing vote in a critical case that affirmed Roe v. Wade. He was a key vote on gay marriage. He cannot be replaced by an ideologue. The American people must have a say.
— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) June 27, 2018
In 2016, Senate Republicans said that the American people deserve an opportunity to speak on Supreme Court nominees.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) June 27, 2018
Justice Kennedy was the obstacle to moving further to the right on issues like abortion and affirmative action. But just as important, the fact that his vote wasn’t certain dissuaded conservative interest groups and justices from taking up a host of big issues. That all changes.
— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) June 27, 2018
Just remember that the moral arch of history always bends towards justice & fairness.
The Justice Kennedy retirement is a MAJOR setback, but the long term trajectory is what moral Americans make it.
Never give up. Fight back, vote, run for office, and spread kindness/morals
— Brian Krassenstein (@krassenstein) June 27, 2018
Justice Kennedy's retirement opens up a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. Any nomination to that seat must live up to the words written above the steps of the highest court in the land, "equal justice under law."
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) June 27, 2018
The 81-year-old Kennedy said he is stepping down after more than 30 years on the court. A Republican appointee, he has held the key vote on such high-profile issues as abortion, affirmative action, gay rights, guns, campaign finance and voting rights. https://t.co/xZ8h8jNrFN
— The Associated Press (@AP) June 27, 2018
What's next? Maxine Waters telling people to corner and harass Justice Kennedy in order to convince the 81 year old not to retire?
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) June 27, 2018