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>> I just want to thank Justice Kennedy for the years of tremendous service.>> Anthony Kennedy, the ultimate swing vote on the Supreme Court, announced his retirement on Wednesday. Setting up a high stakes battle that could shape the legal landscape for decades to come. Kennedy telling President Donald Trump that he plans to step down after three decades on the nations highest court, at the center of pivotal decisions that legalized gay marriage and loosened political spending laws.
>> I'm Andy Sullivan in Washington where Trump suddenly has an opportunity to shift the United State sharply to the right by replacing Kennedy with a more consistent conservative. Somebody along the lines of Neil Gorsuch, who has ruled steadily in Trump's favor since joining the Court last year.>> Trump's saying at the White House that he is going to begin his search immediately.
Drawing from a list of 25 candidates, all of them with a conservative track record, and all of them decades younger than the 81 year old Kennedy.>> We have a very excellent list of great, talented, highly educated, highly intelligent, hopefully, tremendous people.>> Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said he will hold a vote to confirm that candidate in the Fall.
Presumably before the November, elections when Republicans could lose control of the Chamber.>> As in the case of Justice Gorsuch, Senators will have the opportunity to meet with President Trump's nominee, examine his or her qualifications, and debate the nomination.>> McConnell refused to fill a vacant Supreme Court seat during the 2016 election.
Democratic Senate Leader Chuck Schumer saying McConnell now should wait until after this year's election so voters have a chance to weigh in.>> Americans should make it clear that they will not tolerate a nominee chosen from President Trump's pre-ordained list, selected by powerful special interests who will reverse the progress we've made.
>> Trump and McConnell have worked closely to tilt the entire judicial system to the right, confirming more than 40 Judges, a record pace. They'll be issuing rulings long after Trump leaves office. McConnell clearly sees this as a top priority, and he's eager to put another conservative on the nation's highest court.