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Kellyanne Conway declines comment on potential Supreme Court retirement

Kellyanne Conway declines comment on potential Supreme Court retirement

When the justices take the bench Monday, they are expected to decide the case of Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Mo., which was excluded from a state grant program to pay for soft surfaces on playgrounds run by not-for-profit groups.

Some significant cases, including the possibility the court will hand down a decision on the legality of President Trump's travel ban, will be decided. Three of those, all involving immigrants or foreigners, were heard by an eight-justice court, before Gorsuch joined the bench in April.

Kennedy is known for casting the vital swing vote in cases that grabbed national attention, which no other justice in recent history has done.

Also adding fuel to the rumor mill fire is that several Republicans in the Senate Judiciary Committee have publicly said they expect a new vacancy in the Supreme Court in the coming months.

But a single news item may overshadow the Court's actions - the potential retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy.

KOTB: Real quick. Alright, so there are rumors that he - the Supreme Court judge may retire, maybe even announce it today.

While retirement announcements could come at any time, planned retirements from the Supreme Court have generally been made public by the time the court recesses for the summer.

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To read this article in one of Houston's most-spoken languages, click on the button below. With President Trump under investigation by the special counsel and his approval rating mired below 40 percent, his incentive may be to cater to his base with a pick as far to the right as possible, an instinct enabled by the Republicans' move, during the confirmation of Justice Neil Gorsuch, to eliminate the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees. If he decides to retire, and there are signs that he would, it would be a war for this court like nothing seen in the past 30 years since the nomination of Robert Bork was defeated and Justice Kennedy took his seat. The decision to hold an early reunion helped spark talk he might be leaving the court. The March 6 executive order called for a 90-day ban on travelers from Libya, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen and a 120-day ban on all refugees entering the United States to let the government implement stronger vetting.

President Trump replacing Kennedy with a conservative in the Gorsuch or Scalia mold will create the most conservative court that there has been since the mid-1930s.

On one side is his age - a desire to spend more time with his grandchildren is driving any decision, and in many ways he has already established an enduring legacy on the court. Gorsuch's biggest complaint was that the majority thought it was such an easy case and handled as a summary reversal it without setting it for full briefing and argument.

The Trump administration said the ban was needed to allow an internal review of the screening procedures for visa applicants from those countries.

Speculation is swirling that Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy could announce his retirement as early as this term, The Associated Press and CNN reported Saturday.

The court's decision allows the Trump administration to enforce a limited ban on visa applicants from six mostly Muslim countries who lack a "bona fide" relationship with a family member, school or business in the US.


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