.- The retirement announcement of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy has led pro-life advocates to voice hope that his successor could help overturn Roe v. Wade in coming years.
Kennedy submitted his formal resignation on Wednesday, in a letter to President Donald Trump.
“This letter is a respectful and formal notification of my decision, effective July 31 of this year, to end my regular active status as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court,” the letter read.
“For a member of the legal profession it is the highest of honors to serve on this Court. Please permit me by this letter to express my profound gratitude for having had the privilege to seek in each case how best to know, interpret, and defend the Constitution and the laws that must always conform to its mandates and promises.”
Kennedy has served on the court for 30 years, since being appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1987. He was known as a swing vote on a court that had been divided for years on key issues.
Kennedy had expressed varying views on abortion throughout the years. He sided with the majority on Planned Parenthood v. Casey in 1992, which preserved a right to abortion in the country. He was also the author of the majority opinion in the 2007 case Gonzales v. Carhart, which held that a ban on partial-birth abortion was constitutional.
Most recently, he voted with the majority on NIFLA v. Becerra, which rejected the claim that pro-life crisis pregnancy centers can be required to provide information about how to receive a free or low-cost abortion.
President Donald Trump will now appoint a replacement for Kennedy, who will need to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. During the 2016 presidential election, Trump promised to appoint pro-life court nominees.
Pro-life advocates are hopeful that Kennedy’s retirement could set in motion the eventual overturning of Roe v. Wade – the 1973 Supreme Court decision that required legal abortion throughout the U.S.
Read more at Catholic News Agency.