Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement news draws reactions from lawmakers

Longtime Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his plans to retire Wednesday, sparking reactions from lawmakers across the political isle.

The 81-year-old senior associate justice has served on the nation’s highest court for 30 years. His retirement will take effect on July 31, according to a letter he sent to the White House.

Kennedy is arguably one of the most powerful members of the Supreme Court, as his moderate-conservative views often leave him to be the deciding vote in high-profile cases. The vacancy will also give President Trump the opportunity to appoint a more conservative-leaning justice.

Read on for a look at the way politicians have reacted to the news.

Democratic Senator Kamala Harris in a statement called Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court nominees “non-starters,” suggesting that the new pick is selected after midterm elections are over.

“This Supreme Court vacancy puts issues that affect every single American in the balance, from a woman’s constitutionally protected right to make her own health care decisions to privacy, equality and civil rights,” she said in a statement. “Given the stakes of this seat which will determine the fate of protected constitutional rights, the American people, who are set to vote in less than four months, deserve to have their voice heard. We should not vote on confirmation until they have voted at the ballot box.”

“The President’s list of potential nominees are complete non-starters. They are conservative ideologues instead of mainstream jurists.  We cannot and will not accept them to serve on the highest court in the land which is supposed to stand for equal protection under the law and justice for all,” she continued.

Fox News’ Bill Mears and Shannon Bream contributed to this report.