Anthony Kennedy

Anthony Kennedy
Anthony Kennedy official SCOTUS portrait.jpg
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
In office
February 18, 1988 – July 31, 2018
Nominated byRonald Reagan
Preceded byLewis F. Powell Jr.
Succeeded byBrett Kavanaugh
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
In office
May 30, 1975 – February 18, 1988
Nominated byGerald Ford
Preceded byCharles Merton Merrill
Succeeded byPamela Ann Rymer
Personal details
Anthony McLeod Kennedy

(1936-07-23) July 23, 1936 (age 82)
Sacramento, California, U.S.
Mary Davis (m. 1963)
EducationStanford University (BA)
Harvard University (LLB)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
Years of service1961–1962
UnitCalifornia Army National Guard

Anthony McLeod Kennedy (born July 23, 1936) is an American lawyer and jurist who served as the 93rd Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1988 until his retirement in 2018. He was nominated to the court in 1987 by President Ronald Reagan, and sworn in on February 18, 1988. After the retirement of Sandra Day O'Connor in 2006, he was the swing vote on many of the Roberts Court's 5–4 decisions.

Born in Sacramento, California, Kennedy took over his father's legal practice in Sacramento after graduating from Harvard Law School. In 1975, President Gerald Ford appointed Kennedy to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. In November 1987, after two failed attempts at nominating a successor to Associate Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr., President Reagan nominated Kennedy to the Supreme Court. Kennedy won unanimous confirmation from the United States Senate in February 1988. Following the death of Antonin Scalia in February 2016, Kennedy became the Senior Associate Justice of the Court; he remained the Senior Associate Justice until his July 2018 retirement. Kennedy retired during the administration of President Donald Trump and was succeeded by his former law clerk, Brett Kavanaugh.

Kennedy authored the majority opinion in several important cases, including Boumediene v. Bush and Citizens United v. FEC. Kennedy wrote in part the majority opinions in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. He is also known for his majority opinions in four gay rights cases: Romer v. Evans, Lawrence v. Texas, United States v. Windsor, and Obergefell v. Hodges.

Early life and education

Kennedy was born and raised in an Irish Catholic family in Sacramento, California.[1] He was the son of Anthony J. Kennedy, an attorney with a reputation for influence in the California legislature, and Gladys (née McLeod), who participated in many local civic activities.[2] As a boy, Kennedy came into contact with prominent politicians of the day, such as California Governor and later U.S. Chief Justice Earl Warren. He served as a page in the California State Senate as a young man. Kennedy attended C. K. McClatchy High School where he was an honors student and graduated in 1954.[3]

Following in his mother's footsteps, Kennedy enrolled at Stanford University where he developed an interest with constitutional law. Kennedy graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in political science in 1958, after spending his senior year at the London School of Economics.[4] He then attended Harvard Law School where he graduated with a Bachelor of Laws cum laude in 1961.[5]

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