U.S. Supreme Court

Updated at 5:54 p.m. ET

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement Wednesday, setting the stage for what promises to be an epic political battle over his replacement.

A Trump nominee is likely to be far more conservative than Kennedy, who, though appointed by President Ronald Reagan, voted with the court's liberals in some key cases.

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A decision Thursday from the U.S. Supreme Court could mean increased revenue for Kentucky. The ruling will allow states to collect sales taxes from online retailers.

Previous rulings limited a state’s ability to collect that revenue if the business didn’t have a physical presence in the state. Kentucky Center for Economic Policy Executive Director Jason Bailey said while there won’t be an immediate effect felt from the Supreme Court decision, it will eventually lead to more money for the commonwealth.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. But the 7-to-2 decision was on the narrowest of grounds and left unresolved whether business owners have a free speech right to refuse to sell goods and services to same-sex couples.

Updated at 7:08 p.m. ET

In a case involving the rights of tens of millions of private sector employees, the U.S. Supreme Court, by a 5-4 vote, delivered a major blow to workers, ruling for the first time that workers may not band together to challenge violations of federal labor laws.

Baishampayan Ghose/Creative Commons

The Supreme Court on Monday struck down a federal law that could allow states to legalize sports betting, potentially paving the way for Kentucky to rake in millions on sports bets.

Monday’s ruling struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, a 1992 law that prohibited states from legalizing sports betting — except in states where it was already legal at the time: Delaware, Montana, Oregon and Nevada.

“Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each State is free to act on its own,” the court wrote in its decision.

Ryland Barton, Kentucky Public Radio

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul says that the Senate shouldn’t confirm an appointee to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Obama because it amounts to a “conflict of interest.”

The president has said he’ll nominate someone to fill the vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, who died last week.

This spring, the Supreme Court will take up a case concerning the legality of Obama’s executive orders that granted legal status to about 5 million people who entered the U.S. without documentation as children.

Paul, a Republican from Bowling Green, is crisscrossing Kentucky to drum up support for his reelection bid. On Friday, he stopped at Tonya’s Hometown Buffet in Lawrenceburg to speak to a crowd of about 50 supporters.

Citing the recent 5-4 Supreme Court ruling that halted Obama’s Clean Power Plan, Paul said that with the absence of Scalia, a sympathetic appointee would tip the scales in favor of the president’s immigration policies.

Justice Antonin Scalia loved a good fight.

So it's only fitting that news of his death at age 79 ignited an immediate and partisan battle over who might take his place on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has suggested that Wednesday’s Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage will move the country closer to accepting marriages between people and animals.

A spokeswoman for the Bowling Green Republican insists the Senator was being sarcastic.

Paul’s comments came during an appearance on Glenn Beck’s radio program. Beck asked the Kentucky Senator if the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act would eventually lead to the legalization of polygamous marriage. Paul responded by saying, “I think it’s a conundrum. If we have no laws on this, people take it to one extension further, does it have to be humans, you know?”

The U.S. Supreme's Court ruling Wednesday striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act does not impact Kentucky laws regarding the definition of marriage. Kentucky voters in 2004 approved an amendment to the state constitution defining a marriage as being between one man and one woman.

WKU constitutional law scholar Patty Minter says the Supreme Court's decision on DOMA concerns those in same-sex marriages being able to receive the same federal benefits as those in heterosexual marriages.

"It does not affect the definition of marriage in Kentucky, and it does not require the state of Kentucky to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. It also has no impact on civil unions anywhere in the 50 states," Dr. Minter told WKU Public Radio.

Dr. Minter, a WKU History Professor, says those wanting same-sex marriage in Kentucky would likely have to get a referendum on the ballot that would repeal the 2004 state amendment.

"Or you would need another case at the U.S. Supreme Court--one that rendered all of those state marriage amendments to be moot. They would also be rendered moot if you passed a federal amendment to the Constitution that mandated that marriage rights could not be abridged based on status.

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to take up the case of a Kentucky death row inmate awaiting execution for the slaying of three people in Adair County in 1993. The high court on Monday issued its decision without comment on the appeal brought by 39-year-old William Harry Meece.