Retirement rumors surround Justice Anthony Kennedy

Speculation about retirement for Kennedy, 80, increased after Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa., told a local Iowa newspaper, "I would expect a [Supreme Court] resignation this summer."
2:18 | 04/20/17

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Transcript for Retirement rumors surround Justice Anthony Kennedy
Thousand to the report that supreme court justice Anthony Kennedy may accept down after 30 years on the everyone, 80 years old appointed by Ronald Reagan considered the court's pivotal swing vote and part of his legacy is the newest justice Neil Gorsuch one of his clerks and Jonathan Karl has more. Good morning. Reporter: Good morning, Amy. Predicting a supreme court vacancy is tricky business. Justices tend to be extremely secretive about their plans until they announce them but we noticed quite a hint in a small Iowa newspaper. "The mu "The muscatine journal." Chuck grassley's committee would hold the hearings on the next nominee. If there is anybody that would know about such things it is chuck grassley and more than that, Amy, this is consistent with what I have been hearing in conservative legal circles for weeks. That justice Kennedy has been telling friends and colleagues that he intends to retire this year. Possibly after the current term of the supreme court is up on June 30th. All right, so let's talk about that potential confirmation process. The president considered Gorsuch to be a shoo-in but they resorted to the nuclear option changes the ruling to get him confirmed. How does that affect how another vacancy could be filled. Reporter: The nuclear option has been exercised and the rules are changed so the next justice would require only 51 votes. There are 52 Republicans. They have the votes to do it but replacing justice Scalia with Gorsuch didn't alter the balance. There are now four conservative, four liberals and right in the middle as the swing vote in many, many cases is justice Kennedy. So that means replacing him with a solid conservative could significantly decisively alter the balance of power on the supreme court. I expect that the next confirmation battle will be a much bigger more high-profile fight even with that nuclear option exercised. All right, Jonathan Karl, we appreciate it, thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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