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Press Release

Statement: Justice Kennedy Leaves Mixed Legacy

Brennan Center for Justice President Michael Waldman issued a statement on the retirement of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy.

June 27, 2018

New York, N.Y. – Today, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy announced his retirement from the Court. Michael Waldman, President of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, issued the following statement:

“Justice Kennedy leaves a decidedly mixed legacy. His jurisprudence on gay marriage and LGBT equality are rightly seen as landmarks. Still, his Citizens United decision gravely undermined our elections, and he most recently missed an opportunity to rule against extreme partisan gerrymandering. He retires leaving our democracy plainly weaker than when he joined the Court.

“But it is his standing as the frequent decisive vote that shows the stakes. When the perennial swing vote retires, everything is on the line. This fight will underscore the stark and central role the Supreme Court plays in our country. The stakes could not be higher. This choice is as consequential as any blockbuster Court decision or any nomination in decades. 

“This will be one of the great constitutional fights of the country’s history. No nominee should be rammed through without due consideration and debate. The seat should not be filled with someone who threatens or undermines voting rights, individual freedoms, or the balance of powers enshrined in our founding documents.” 

The Brennan Center was founded by clerks of U.S. Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan to protect the values of our constitutional democracy.

Brennan Center experts, including Michael Waldman, Democracy Program Director Wendy Weiser, Liberty & National Security Program Co-Director Elizabeth Goitein, and others are available for comment.

To schedule an interview, contact Naren Daniel at (646) 292–8381 or