The National Constitution Center will award its 31st annual Liberty Medal to the Honorable Anthony M. Kennedy, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, for his efforts to preserve, protect, and defend liberty by inspiring Americans of all ages to learn about the Constitution through civic education and civil dialogue.
The National Constitution Center will award Justice Kennedy the Liberty Medal on Sunday, October 27, 2019, in a public ceremony at the National Constitution Center across from historic Independence Hall in Philadelphia.
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy has advanced the cause of civic education throughout his life. He was born in Sacramento, California, July 23, 1936, and received his B.A. from Stanford University and the London School of Economics and his LL.B. from Harvard Law School. After a career spanning private practice, public service, and academia—teaching constitutional law at the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law—he was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in 1975 and was nominated as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States in 1987. He served from February 18, 1988 until he retired on July 31, 2018. Justice Kennedy has repeatedly emphasized the importance of civic education and has worked to foster such education whenever possible. He has lectured and taught at universities and professional associations both here and abroad.
Established in 1988 to commemorate the bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution, the Liberty Medal honors men and women of courage and conviction who strive to secure the blessings of liberty to people around the globe. The medal was first administered by the National Constitution Center in 2006 when Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton were recognized for their bipartisan humanitarian efforts on behalf of victims of natural disasters in Southeast Asia and the Gulf Coast. The Medal’s roster of recipients includes many of the men, women, and organizations that have shaped and guided the world through the past three decades, including Nelson Mandela, Sandra Day O’Connor, Kofi Annan, Malala Yousafzai, and Colin Powell.
The National Constitution Center in Philadelphia brings together people of all ages and perspectives, across America and around the world, to learn about, debate, and celebrate the greatest vision of human freedom in history, the U.S. Constitution. A private, nonprofit organization, the Center serves as America’s leading platform for constitutional education and debate, fulfilling its congressional charter “to disseminate information about the U.S. Constitution on a nonpartisan basis.” As the Museum of We the People, the Center brings the Constitution to life for visitors of all ages through interactive programs and exhibits. As America’s Town Hall, the Center brings the leading conservative and liberal thought leaders together to debate the Constitution on all media platforms. As a Headquarters for Civic Education, the Center delivers the best educational programs and online resources that inspire citizens and engage all Americans in learning about the U.S. Constitution.