Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced Wednesday he will retire July 31, giving President Donald Trump the chance to put a conservative stamp on the high court for generations.
It’s bringing hope to First Liberty Institute, a Plano non-profit that takes on religious freedom cases.
Its work hinges on how the constitution is interpreted and is run by an attorney Kelly Shackelford who's argued in front of the Supreme Court before.
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“It's a tremendous privilege to get to argue before the Supreme Court. I mean, it's a very minuscule number of lawyers ever get that privilege,” said Shackelford who added he wasn’t surprised by Wednesday’s announcement.
Right now, Shackelford is waiting for the Supreme Court to decide whether it will hear five of his cases.
“This appointment will effect things like the First Amendment religious freedom because it’ll effect the balance of the court and what kind of opinions we get in the future,” Shackelford said.
Shackelford believes Kennedy felt comfortable resigning now because of President Trump’s track record for nominating judges.
“President Trump has a record now of appointing very strong, really excellent judges like Justice Gorsuch,” Shackelford said.
Because only four justices are needed to accept a case, having a consistently conservative Supreme Court judge could help Shackelford's chances of having another case heard by the highest court.
“That's something we'll have to wait and see,” he said.
President Trump said he will begin work to replace Kennedy immediately.