On June 27, 2018, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his intended retirement from the bench. Kennedy, the longest-tenured justice on the court, was appointed by President Ronald Reagan. Kennedy is married to Mary Davis and has three children.
Of his intent to retire, Kennedy said in an official statement, “For a member of the legal profession it is the highest of honors to serve on this Court. Please permit me by this letter to express my profound gratitude for having had the privilege to seek in each case how best to know, interpret, and defend the Constitution and the laws that must always conform to its mandates and promises.”
Kennedy was long considered the “swing vote” in the Supreme Court, often making the deciding vote to break ideological ties between the liberal and conservative justices. He was a swing voter in favor of the liberal side of the bench for such landmark cases as the upholding of Roe v. Wade and the establishment of the right for same-sex couples to marry, and he was a swing voter in favor of the conservative side of the bench for cases like the upholding of warrantless wiretapping.
His last case, decided last week, was the controversial declaration that upheld Trump’s muslim travel ban. Though Kennedy supported the conservative side, he also noted in his concurrent statement that Trump was “not above the law.”
Now that Kennedy plans to retire, it’s likely he’ll be spending more time with his family in the coming days. Here’s what you need to know about Kennedy’s wife, Mary Davis, who is a schoolteacher.
1. Kennedy & His Wife Have Known Each Other Since Childhood
Kennedy and Mary have been married since June 29, 1963 and they have known each other since childhood, US News notes. They both grew up in Sacramento, where Kennedy was born in an Irish Catholic family.
After high school, Kennedy enrolled in Stanford University, where he earned his B.A. in 1958. In 1961, he earned his LL.B. from Harvard Law School. Kennedy also attended the London School of Economics in 1957 and 1958.
Before his career as a federal court judge began, Kennedy began teaching constitutional law at the McGeorge School of Law at the University of the Pacific. He was a professor there from 1965 to 1988. As News Review notes, the late Gordon Schaber asked Kennedy to teach at the school and he accepted the position.
Kennedy’s career as a federal judge began in 1975, when President Gerald Ford nominated Kennedy to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
2. Their Son Justin Knows Donald Trump Jr. Through Real Estate Deals
Anthony and Mary Kennedy have three sons. One is Justin Kennedy, who works in real estate. Politico notes that Justin knows Donald Trump Jr., President Trump’s eldest son, through his work in New York real estate.
The 52-year-old Justin is the co-CEO and CIO of Green River Properties, leading the company’s investment activities and strategy. He has almost 30 years of experience in U.S. and international markets. He has an A.B. in Economics from Stanford and earned his MBA from UCLA.
According to Justin’s Bloomberg bio, he also worked as the managing director and Global Head of CMBS Trading and Structuring at Deutsche Bank. The Sun-Sentinel notes that Justin left Deutsche Bank in 2009 after 11 years there.
“He’s the smartest trader out there,” says Gustavo Dolfino, a senior managing director at headhunting firm Accretive Solutions, told Crain’s New York about Justin.
3. Son Gregory Kennedy Went to Stanford Law School With Trump Adviser Peter Thiel
Trump has another behind-the-scenes link to Kennedy through his children. As Politico notes, Kennedy’s other son, Gregory Kennedy, went to Stanford Law School with billionaire Peter Thiel, who has advised Trump.
ProPublica also found that Gregory landed a job at NASA as a senior financial adviser after Trump was inaugurated. ProPublica reports that he’s part of a so-called “beachhead team” that Trump installed at the space agency to keep an eye on how things are running.
4. Daughter Kristin Marie Kennedy Is the Secretary for the New York City Ballet Board of Directors
Mary and Anthony Kennedy also have a daughter, Kristen Marie Kennedy Clark. She currently serves as the Secretary of the Board of Directors for the New York City Ballet. She previously worked for Alex. Brown & Sons, the oldest investment bank founded in the U.S. She was an associate at the Baltimore-based bank.
Kristin is also on the board of trustees for the Professional Children’s School in New York.
5. Mary Kennedy Was a Schoolteacher in Sacramento
Mary also attended Stanford, according to Court History. She first received an undergraduate degree at the University of California, but got her masters in education from Stanford. She worked in the Sacramento public school system.
Kennedy himself loved teaching at McGeorge, notes the New York Times and he still teaches a class for a week in the summer. His time in Sacramento was reportedly ./;an influence on his rulings.
“The fascination about being a judge is the same as the duty of being a judge and that is to ask yourself: Why am I about to rule the way I’m about to rule?” Kennedy said during a talk in Montana last year.