Justice Anthony Kennedy is stepping down from the U.S. Supreme Court.
He announced his plans to retire from the nation’s highest court, effective July 31.
President Donald Trump the search for a replacement will begin immediately — and he’ll pick from the list of possible justices he released during his campaign.
KELOLAND News talked with Minnesota Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN) moments after the announcement.
“Well, Justice Kennedy has been a voice of reason and moderation on the Supreme Court and I urge the President to nominate his successor somebody who can also attract that kind of moderate voice and bipartisan support in the Senate, I think that’s so important right now in our country,” Smith said.
Sen. John Thune (R-SD) also issued a statement:
“Justice Kennedy’s dedication to the law led him to a career of distinguished service to his country. He is widely respected for his consistent sense of decency and civility, and I wish him the best in his future endeavors. This is an important moment as we look to the future of the court. I look forward to President Trump’s nomination of a well-qualified individual who will respect the Constitution and the rule of law and exercise judicial restraint. I will work with my colleagues to ensure he or she is confirmed this fall.”
CNN contributed to this report.