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Reflecting on Life and Supreme Court Tenure: Kennedy’s Two-Volume Memoir

NEW YORK (AP) – Former Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy is set to release a two-volume memoir this autumn, chronicling his journey from his upbringing in California to his three-decade tenure on the bench. During his time on the court, Kennedy played a pivotal role in significant cases spanning issues like abortion, same-sex marriage, and campaign finance.

Simon & Schuster revealed on Tuesday that the books titled “Life and Law: The Early Years” and “Life and Law: The Court Years” will hit the shelves on Oct. 1. They will be available both as a boxed set and as individual editions, with each volume encompassing approximately 320 pages. Known as a moderate conservative, Kennedy authored key opinions in closely contested cases such as Obergefell v. Hodges, establishing the right to marriage equality, and Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, permitting unrestricted spending by corporations and external entities in elections.

Simon & Schuster’s announcement highlighted that in “Life and Law,” Kennedy delves into the rationale and methodology behind judicial decision-making, offering insights into his thought process.

The second volume delves into poignant portrayals of Justices O’Connor, Rehnquist, Scalia, and Ginsburg, intertwined with narratives on how Kennedy arrived at his stances in landmark cases. However, it is the initial volume focusing on his formative years in Sacramento and his stint as a lawyer that unveils the essence of this legal luminary. Readers will witness the transformation from a young boy to a man who left an indelible mark on American jurisprudence in the 21st century.

In the preface to the first volume, the 87-year-old Kennedy acknowledged that his memoirs expanded beyond his original intentions.

While reflecting on his youth, Kennedy remarked, “It was my intent… to recount my earlier years in a summary way. But something happened on the way to the pencil.” He further elaborated on the societal shifts from the ‘40s to the ‘70s that influenced both him and the broader community.

Kennedy, who served as an associate justice from 1988 to 2018, witnessed significant political events during his appointment and retirement. Initially nominated by President Ronald Reagan following the rejection of Robert Bork and the withdrawal of Douglas Ginsburg, Kennedy’s departure led to the nomination of his former clerk, Brett Kavanaugh, by President Donald Trump.

Kennedy’s memoir will be released shortly after Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson’s book “Lovely One,” slated for publication on Sept. 3.

Retired Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy testifies before a House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington on March 23, 2015.