Anthony McLeod Kennedy (born July 23, 1936) is an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, having been appointed by Republican President Ronald Reagan in 1988. Since the retirement of Sandra Day O'Connor, Kennedy has often been the swing vote on many of the Court's politically charged 5–4 decisions. Conservatives have felt betrayed by some of his decisions, but other observers say he reaches conservative results more often than not.
Kennedy was born and raised in Sacramento, California, the son of Anthony J. Kennedy, an attorney with a reputation for influence in the California legislature, and Gladys McLeod, who participated in many local civic activities. As a boy, Kennedy came into contact with prominent politicians of the day, such as California Governor and later U.S. Chief Justice Earl Warren. He served as a page in the California State Senate as a young man. He is not a member of the Kennedy political family.
Kennedy graduated from C. K. McClatchy High School in 1954. He was an undergraduate student at Stanford University from 1954–58, graduating with a B.A. in Political Science, after spending his senior year at the London School of Economics. He earned an LL.B from Harvard Law School, graduating cum laude in 1961.