Big cases, retirement rumors as Supreme Court nears finish

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The U.S. Supreme Court in Washington is shown in this June 2012

With President Trump under investigation by the special counsel and his approval rating mired below 40 percent, his incentive may be to cater to his base with a pick as far to the right as possible, an instinct enabled by the Republicans' move, during the confirmation of Justice Neil Gorsuch, to eliminate the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees.

The chamber's success rate is nothing new: In the past six terms, the court has ruled with the chamber 74 percent of the time the group has gotten involved in cases that come before it.

The court announced a flurry of opinions on Monday including a case on the separation of church and state.

The Supreme Court has less than a week remaining before adjourning for the summer, and there are intensifying rumors that Kennedy may be planning to retire sometime shortly afterward.

The opinion faulted the two federal appeals courts that had blocked the travel policy for going too far to limit Trump's authority over immigration.

The case could affect the Trump administration's efforts to step up deportation efforts.

Despite the setbacks he has encountered from obstructionist Democrats and the violent, radical "Resist Trump" movement, the president will have a longstanding impact on the lives of all Americans for decades to come with his reshaping of the U.S. Supreme Court. But the court recessed without any announcement.

Rumors have long swirled that Justice Anthony Kennedy will soon retire from the Supreme Court.

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But Kennedy, now 80, is said to be considering stepping down from the Supreme Court, according to CNN, though he has not publicly signaled he will do so in the next year.

Kennedy, who has served in the court since 1988, has become a key swing vote in the otherwise largely evenly divided court. But Daniel Epps, an associate professor of law at Washington University and a former clerk for Kennedy, told the New York Times in January that Kennedy would likely be uneasy with the idea of being replaced by a Trump nominee. Helping drive the speculation was a reunion party held this weekend in Washington with former law clerks - the reunion had been pushed up a year, Fox reported. The decision to push up the reunion by a year helped spark talk he might be leaving the court.

Trump's executive order barring travel from six Middle Eastern and African countries has been ensnarled in courts practically since he signed it.

The action Monday is a victory for President Donald Trump in the biggest legal controversy of his young presidency.

"The justices, in effect, said that foreigners with ties or relationships in the United States would not be prohibited from entering the country".

The justices will hear arguments in the case in October.

The Supreme Court did what the lower court judges would not - treat President Trump like any other President with the "presumption of regularity.".the lower courts should take the hint.

The White House declined to comment on Sunday on speculation that a pivotal US Supreme Court justice might announce his retirement on Monday, the last day of the high court's current session.

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