Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy to Retire

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WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 10: U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy is seen during a ceremony in the Rose Garden at the White House April 10, 2017 in Washington, DC. Earlier in the day Gorsuch, 49, was sworn in as the 113th Associate Justice in a private ceremony at the Supreme Court. (Photo by Eric Thayer/Getty Images)

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Justice Anthony Kennedy, a conservative who provided key votes for same sex-marriage, abortion access and affirmative action, will retire from the Supreme Court.

Kennedy’s decision to step down could transform the Supreme Court for generations. President Donald Trump will have his second opportunity to nominate a justice and will likely replace Kennedy with a young, conservative jurist. That would create a bloc of five staunch conservative justices who could move the court further to the right and cement a conservative majority for the foreseeable future.

The nomination battle will likely ignite a firestorm on Capitol Hill as it comes just a year after Republicans changed the rules of the senate in order to push through the nomination of Justice Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s first nominee.

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