Anthony Kennedy

Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1988 to 2018

Anthony McLeod Kennedy (born July 23, 1936) is a former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. He was nominated by President Ronald Reagan on November 11, 1987, and took the oath of office on February 18, 1988, serving until July 31, 2018.

Anthony Kennedy
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
In office
February 18, 1988 – July 31, 2018
Nominated byRonald Reagan
Preceded byLewis Powell
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 Merrill
Succeeded byPamela Rymer
Personal details
Anthony McLeod Kennedy

(1936-07-23) July 23, 1936 (age 87)
Sacramento, California, U.S.
Political partyRepublican[1]
Spouse(s)Mary Davis (1963–present)
EducationStanford University (BA)
Harvard University (LLB) London School of Economics
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/serviceCalifornia Army National Guard
United States Army National Guard
Years of service1961

Kennedy became the most senior Associate Justice on the court following the death of Antonin Scalia in February 2016.[2][3] Since the retirement of Sandra Day O'Connor in 2006, he has been the swing vote on many of the Court's 5–4 decisions.[4][5][6][7] He has authored the majority ruling in many of these cases, including Lawrence v. Texas, Boumediene v. Bush, Citizens United v. FEC, and Obergefell v. Hodges.

On June 27, 2018, Kennedy announced his retirement from the Supreme Court, effective July 31.[8][9]



Kennedy was born in Sacramento, California, on July 23, 1936. He went to Harvard University, Stanford University, and the London School of Economics. He was a private lawyer, a professor, and in 1975, he was appointed by Gerald Ford to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In 1988, Ronald Reagan nominated him for the Supreme Court. He became a member of the court on February 18, 1988. He has two sons and a daughter.


  1. Epstein, Lee; Segal, Jeffrey A.; Spaeth, Harold J.; Walker, Thomas G. (2015). The Supreme Court Compendium: Data, Decisions, and Developments. CQ Press. ISBN 978-1-4833-7663-9.
  2. Janssen, Sarah (2015). The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2016. Simon and Schuster. p. 823. ISBN 978-1-60057-200-5.
  3. Williams, Pete (February 22, 2016). "Supreme Court Holds First Session After Justice Scalia's Death". NBC News. Retrieved March 3, 2016.
  4. Bravin, Jess, Court Conservatives Prevail June 28, 2011. Retrieved June 18, 2013.
  5. Jeffrey Toobin, The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court (2010) p. 198
  6. Steffen W. Schmidt et al. American Government & Politics Today (2008) p. 547
  7. Jeffrey A. Rosen, "Courting Controversy" Archived 2013-08-24 at the Wayback Machine, Time June 28, 2007
  8. "Justice Kennedy, the pivotal swing vote on the Supreme Court, announces retirement". Retrieved June 27, 2018 – via
  9. "Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy retires -- live updates". Retrieved June 27, 2018.