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Analysis: Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy's Retirement22:57
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Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement from the Supreme Court on Wednesday. President Trump said the process to replace him would "begin immediately." (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement from the Supreme Court on Wednesday. President Trump said the process to replace him would "begin immediately." (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Justice Anthony Kennedy, long considered the Supreme Court's swing vote, announced his retirement Wednesday.

Kennedy, who will turn 82 next month, made the announcement on the last day of the court's 2017-18 term. Read his letter informing President Trump of his retirement here.

His departure sets the stage for President Trump to nominate a second Supreme Court justice after successfully nominating Justice Neil Gorsuch to the bench last year.

In remarks to reporters, Trump said Kennedy has "been a great justice of the Supreme Court" and said the process to replace him would "begin immediately." Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., echoed that sentiment, saying the Senate will vote on Kennedy's replacement this fall.

On this episode of the NPR Politics Podcast, White House correspondent Sarah McCammon, congressional correspondent Susan Davis, editor and correspondent Ron Elving and legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg explore Kennedy's legacy on the court and his role in some of the court's landmark decisions.

They also look at the political ramifications of Kennedy's retirement and how lawmakers are responding to the news.

Copyright NPR 2022.

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