'Start Here': Justice Kennedy to retire, leaving hole in Supreme Court during election year

A bitter confirmation battle looms after Kennedy announced his retirement.

It's Thursday, June 28, 2018. Here are some of the stories we're talking about on ABC News' new daily podcast, "Start Here."

1. Kennedy hangs it up

This was already a big week for the Supreme Court.

First, the upholding of the president's travel ban, then huge rulings on abortion and union rights. But those were all individual cases, and suddenly they seemed to pale in comparison with a decision that could affect every case for decades.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, known for years as the swing vote on this deeply divided court, announced he was retiring, setting the table for President Donald Trump to choose his replacement.

ABC News' Terry Moran says all the landmark cases Kennedy helped swing could be at risk, while ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl says Trump already has a list of potential nominees.

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2. Former clerk reflects

Joshua Matz was a clerk for Kennedy not too long ago on the staff that would help him research and write his opinions.

He says Kennedy's departure "will change" the way the Supreme Court thinks about cases.

3. Democratic divisions

The Democratic Party has been experiencing a disruption of the old guard after the 2016 presidential election, and a 28-year-old's primary victory over a senior Democratic leader is the latest example.

Former Democratic National Committee chair Donna Brazile has a warning for the party: "This is a new wave of Democratic candidates."

4. Trump-Putin summit

Trump has met Russian President Vladimir Putin before, but those were limited to a few handshakes and quick meetings. Now they're taking this to the next level. The men are now slated for a one-on-one summit.

ABC News Foreign editor Kirit Radia says the timing of this summit has U.S. allies in Europe concerned.

4. Cracking cold cases

Several recent murder cases were solved by linking DNA left behind at the scene to family members on genealogy sites. It started with an arrest in the "Golden State Killer" case, but are we just seeing the tip of the iceberg?

Brian Harris, a former homicide detective with the Houston Police Department, says this is a game-changer, but it "also opens up some pretty scary potentials."