Anthony M. KennedyU.S. Supreme Court Justice / Jurist
Born: 23 July 1936
Birthplace: Sacramento, California
Best known as:
Reagan-appointed Californian on the bench since 1988
Anthony McCleod Kennedy was appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States by President Ronald Reagan and took a seat on the bench in February of 1988. A native Californian, Kennedy grew up working in oil fields and tagging along with his dad, a Sacramento attorney and lobbyist. A graduate of Stanford University (1958) and Harvard Law School (1961), he served in the National Guard and began his career in a San Francisco law firm. He took over his father's practice in 1963 and worked as an attorney and law professor at McGeorge Law School, until being named to the federal bench in 1975 by President Gerald Ford (at the suggestion of then-governor Reagan). While at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, Kennedy earned a reputation as a fair jurist and a loyal conservative Republican. He was not Reagan's first choice to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court left by Lewis Powell; Kennedy was picked after Robert Bork could not get confirmed and after Douglas Ginsburg withdrew. Since being on the high court he has frequently cast the deciding vote, sometimes voting with liberals, sometimes with conservatives.
Kennedy was 38 when he became a federal judge.
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