Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, the greatest judicial champion of gay rights in the nation’s history, will turn 81 on Sunday. Rumors that he would retire in June turned out to be wrong, but he will not be on the Supreme Court forever.
Gay rights groups hope to score one more victory before he leaves the court. The goal this time is nationwide protection against employment discrimination.
Justice Kennedy wrote the majority opinions in all four of the court’s landmark gay rights rulings, culminating in the 2015 decision establishing a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. But there is more work to be done, said Suzanne B. Goldberg, a law professor at Columbia.