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Kennedy retirement guaranteed to ratchet up midterm rhetoric

Anthony Kennedy
The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — A summer of heated political rhetoric is sure to see the temperature skyrocket now that the ideological balance of the Supreme Court is part of the debate ahead of midterm elections.

Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement is guaranteed to spark debate on virtually every hot-button social and cultural issue in American politics.

Democrats immediately felt flashbacks to the 2016 presidential election, when the tantalizing prospect of an open Supreme Court seat spurred some GOP voters to back Trump even if they found him personally objectionable.

Many Democrats have been optimistic about winning the House majority, if not the Senate. For Republicans, Kennedy’s retirement could fuel enthusiasm for GOP candidates and spur more campaign donations.

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