President Donald Trump reacted to Justice Anthony Kennedy’s decision to retire from the Supreme Court, promising conservatives that he nominate a Constitutional originalist to replace him.
The president said that the search for Kennedy’s replacement would begin “immediately” and would come from his list of conservative judges that he released during the campaign.
“We have a very excellent list of great, talented, highly educated, highly intelligent, hopefully, tremendous people,” Trump said. “I think the list is very outstanding.”
The list of 25 potential candidates was last updated by the White House in November 2017 to include five additional names for consideration.
The president commented on the issue while welcoming the president of Portugal to the White House, speaking to reporters in the Oval Office. Trump thanked Kennedy for his service.
“He’s a man that I’ve known for a long time and a man that I’ve respected for a long time,” Trump said about Kennedy. “Hopefully we’ll pick somebody that is as outstanding.”
The White House also released a statement in reaction to the news:
Today, we thank Justice Anthony M. Kennedy for his thirty years of distinguished service on the Supreme Court of the United States. In 1987, President Reagan nominated him to the Court, and he was swiftly confirmed without opposition. A Californian—like the President who appointed him—Justice Kennedy is a true man of letters. During his tenure on the Court, he authored landmark opinions in every significant area of constitutional law, most notably on equal protection under the law, the separation of powers, and the First Amendment’s guarantees of freedom of speech and religion. Justice Kennedy has been a tireless voice for individual rights and the Founders’ enduring vision of limited government. His words have left an indelible mark not only on this generation, but on the fabric of American history.