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Trump will get a 2nd Supreme Court pick. Which presidents got 2 picks? 4? 8?

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy speaks to faculty members at the University of Pennsylvania law school, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in Philadelphia. Kennedy just announced his retirement from the high court.
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy speaks to faculty members at the University of Pennsylvania law school, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in Philadelphia. Kennedy just announced his retirement from the high court. AP

Justice Anthony Kennedy, often a swing vote on the Supreme Court, announced his retirement on Wednesday. The resignation goes into effect on July 31.

That means President Donald Trump is set to fill his his second vacancy on the high court, after choosing Justice Neil Gorsuch to take the position once held by Justice Anthony Scalia in 2017.

When he gets the pick, Trump will have filled the same number of seats as every president since President George H.W. Bush.

President George H.W. Bush appointed both David Souter, who resigned in 2009, and Clarence Thomas, who remains on the court today. His successor, President Bill Clinton, then appointed two justices, who remain on the court today: Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer.

Then President George W. Bush selected John Roberts, who currently serves as the chief justice, and Samuel Alito.

Finally, President Barack Obama appointed Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan to the court. He also nominated Merrick Garland to replace Justice Anthony Scalia after his death in 2016 — but Senate Republicans refused to hold a hearing on Garland. They instead argued that the next president should fill the vacancy, and President Trump selected Gorsuch after winning the 2016 election.

Other presidents have amassed more than two picks for the Supreme Court. President Ronald Reagan filled three court vacancies, President Richard Nixon filled four and President Franklin D. Roosevelt was responsible for selecting eight justices.

Jimmy Carter is the only president in modern U.S. history to fill zero seats.

Justice Anthony Kennedy was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Ronald Reagan in 1988. He announced his retirement from the bench 30 years later, on June 27, 2018.

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