Jurist / U.S. Supreme Court Justice
Anthony Kennedy joined the Supreme Court of the United States in 1988 after being appointed by President Ronald Reagan
. He announced his retirement 30 years later, in 2018. A native Californian, Anthony McCleod 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. He was named to the federal bench in 1975 by President Gerald Ford
(at the suggestion of then-governor Ronald 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 joining the high court he has frequently cast the deciding vote, sometimes voting with liberals but most often siding with conservatives. He announced his retirement from the court on June 27, 2018. President Donald Trump
nominated one of Kennedy's former law clerks, judge Brett Kavanaugh
, to replace him.