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Big cases, retirement rumors as Supreme Court nears finish

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Big cases, retirement rumors as Supreme Court nears finish

But the justice turns 81 next month and has been on the court for almost 30 years.

The US Supreme Court is set to rule on Monday in a closely watched religious rights case involving limits on public funding for churches and other religious entities as the justices issue the final rulings of their current term.

Kennedy, who will turn 81 in July, has been on the court for close to three decades and those close to the justice say he is strongly considering retirement, the New York Daily News reported.

- The Supreme Court is expected to announce a decision soon on the President's controversial travel ban case, but another question is also looming.

Gorsuch was picked by President Donald Trump to be a reliable conservative in the mold of the late Antonin Scalia.

ROBIN ROBERTS: There's growing speculation that Justice Kennedy could be announcing his retirement.

The announcement would give President Trump the opportunity to replace Kennedy - who leans right but serves as the ideological center of the court - with a more conservative justice.

Conway added that she hopes next time the president needs to nominate a justice to the Supreme Court, more Democratic senators will vote in favor of the nominee.

Although the sources were unable to reveal if Kennedy plans to step down following the conclusion of the term, which started in October 2016, CNN reported dozens of Kennedy's former clerks said they were anxious their upcoming private clerk reunion would be their final chance to meet with him as a justice. The court this term sided with the organization and held that debt-collection companies do not engage in a false, deceptive or unfair practice by filing stale, unenforceable claims against a person in bankruptcy - even though the whole point of those claims is to fool people into paying money they are not legally obligated to pay. Only four justices have died while sitting on the bench since 1950.

According to Vladeck, although the majority in that case was willing to resolve the dispute on relatively narrow grounds, Gorsuch wrote separately to suggest that the court could - and should - have issued a much broader ruling on religious liberty.

"You can't understand how important his affirmative action opinion is without understanding his earlier jurisprudence", said Katyal.

The 80-year-old justice has been the subject of scattered speculation in recent months about whether he would step down now. That moves means there is little incentive for the President not to nominate a strong conservative.

Trump's first pick, Neil Gorsuch, formerly clerked for Kennedy.

But you know, Justice Kennedy, I mean he's always a hard justice to predict, as we have seen, but here's an interesting fact.

The Supreme Court is rejecting yet another call to decide whether Americans have a constitutional right to carry guns with them outside their homes. While no one knows the vote count, the unusual timing implies that there might not have been the necessary fourth vote to hear the case until Gorsuch was ready to participate.

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