Birth date: July 23, 1936
Birth place: Sacramento, California
Birth name: Anthony McLeod Kennedy
Father: Anthony J. Kennedy, lawyer and lobbyist
Mother: Gladys (McLeod) Kennedy, civic leader
Marriage: Mary (Davis) Kennedy (1963-present)
Children: Justin, Gregory and Kristin
Education: London School of Economics, 1957-1958; Stanford University B.A. Political Science, 1954-1958; Harvard Law School LL.B., 1961
Military Service: California Army National Guard, 1961, Private First Class
Religion: Roman Catholic
He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
While a Sacramento lawyer in private practice, he was also a lobbyist.
He is known for his reverence for legal precedent, for creating unlikely coalitions among the justices, and for being a strong advocate of free speech.
Kennedy teaches at the University of Salzburg in Austria during the court’s summer recess. The class is offered as part of the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law’s summer program.
1962 – Kennedy is admitted to the California Bar.
1961–1963 – Practices law at the firm of Thelen, Marrin, John & Bridges in San Francisco.
1963 – After his father’s sudden death, Kennedy takes over his law practice in Sacramento.
1965-1988 – Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law.
1973 – Helps draft Proposition 1, a California ballot initiative to limit state spending, which later fails.
May 30, 1975-February 2, 1988 – Judge, Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
November 11, 1987 – To fill the seat vacated by Justice Lewis Powell’s retirement, President Ronald Reagan nominates Judge Kennedy to the Supreme Court after the confirmation failures of nominees Robert Bork and Douglas Ginsburg.
February 3, 1988 – The Senate votes unanimously to confirm his appointment.
February 18, 1988 – Kennedy is sworn in as the 104th justice of the Supreme Court.
March 1, 2005 – Writes the majority opinion for the 5-4 ruling in Roper v. Simmons stating that executing killers who were under age 18 when they committed their crimes is unconstitutional.
April 18, 2007 – Voting with the conservatives in the 5-4 decision in Gonzales v. Carhart, Justice Kennedy writes the majority opinion to uphold the nationwide ban on partial birth abortions.
June 12, 2008 – In Boumediene v. Bush, Kennedy writes the majority 5-4 opinion, assessing that the language of the Constitution grants the Guantanamo Bay prison detainees the right to seek habeas corpus.
June 25, 2012 – Writes the opinion of the court in Arizona v. United States, overturning three sections of Arizona’s 2010 immigration law.
June 23, 2016 – Kennedy writes the majority opinion in Fisher v. University of Texas, upholding the right of universities to consider race as one factor in admissions.