Rice U. political scientist available to discuss Kennedy retirement

Rice University
Office of Public Affairs / News & Media Relations


David Ruth

Jeff Falk

Rice U. political scientist available to discuss Kennedy retirement

HOUSTON – (June 27, 2018) – As U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announces his retirement from the high court, Rice University political scientist Mark Jones is available to discuss the implications of his departure.

Mark Jones

Mark Jones photo courtesy Rice University

Jones said the retirement of Kennedy, who was nominated by President Ronald Reagan and has served on the court since 1988, gives President Donald Trump the power to further influence the composition of the highest court in the land.

“Without a doubt, Kennedy’s retirement gives President Trump the ability to have a long-lasting impact on the court, and move it more definitively to the right,” Jones said. “This is sure to spark a vicious and controversial nomination battle between Republicans and Democrats as we approach the 2018 midterm elections.”

Jones said he expects the nominee to replace Kennedy will be someone to Kennedy’s ideological right and in the mold of Justice Neil Gorsuch or the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

Jones, the Joseph D. Jamail Chair in Latin American Studies and professor of political science in Rice’s School of Social Sciences, is also a fellow at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and Rice’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research. He is a leading expert on Texas and U.S. politics and a frequent contributor to local, regional and national media outlets.

To schedule an interview with Jones, contact him directly at 832-466-6535.

Rice University has a VideoLink ReadyCam TV interview studio. ReadyCam is capable of transmitting broadcast-quality standard-definition and high-definition video directly to all news media organizations around the world 24/7.


For more information, contact David Ruth, director of national media relations at Rice, at 713-348-6327 or david@rice.edu.

This news release can be found online at https://news.rice.edu/.

Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.

Related Materials:

Mark Jones bio: https://www.bakerinstitute.org/experts/mark-p-jones/

Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,970 undergraduates and 2,934 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is just under 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for quality of life and for lots of race/class interaction and No. 2 for happiest students by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to http://tinyurl.com/RiceUniversityoverview.

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About Amy McCaig

Amy is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.