The Legacy of Justice Anthony Kennedy

July 05, 2018


After more than 30 years on the Supreme Court, on June 27 Justice Anthony M. Kennedy announced his retirement from the bench. Appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1988, Justice Kennedy eschewed traditional dogmatic divides and became known as the Court’s “swing vote.”

A champion for individual rights, Justice Kennedy authored majority opinions for landmark cases ranging from protecting the habeas corpus rights of prisoners in Guantanamo to extending the right to marriage to same-sex couples.

Three of Justice Kennedy's former clerks join We The People host Jeffrey Rosen for a special look at the Justice's legacy.



John Elwood is a partner at Vinson & Elkins law firm, teaches at the University of Virginia School of Law’s Supreme Court litigation clinic, and is a contributor to SCOTUSblog. He clerked for Justice Kennedy from 1996–1997.


Leah Litman is assistant professor of law at the University of California, Irvine Law School. She is a guest host of the First Mondays Supreme Court podcast and blogs at the Take Care blog. She clerked for Justice Kennedy from 2011-2012.

Christopher Yoo is John H. Chestnut Professor of Law, Communication, and Computer & Information Science; director, Center for Technology, Innovation & Competition at Penn Law School. He clerked for Justice Kennedy from 1997-1998.


Jeffrey Rosen is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Constitution Center, the only institution in America chartered by Congress “to disseminate information about the United States Constitution on a nonpartisan basis.” 

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