The retirement announcement of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy has led pro-life advocates to voice hope that his successor could help overturn Roe v. Wade in coming years.

Kennedy submitted his formal resignation on Wednesday, in a letter to President Donald Trump.

Kennedy has served on the court for 30 years, since being appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1987. He was known as a swing vote on a court that had been divided for years on key issues.

President Donald Trump will now appoint a replacement for Kennedy, who will need to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. During the 2016 presidential election, Trump promised to appoint pro-life court nominees.

Pro-life advocates are hopeful that Kennedy’s retirement could set in motion the eventual overturning of Roe v. Wade – the 1973 Supreme Court decision that required legal abortion throughout the U.S.

Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannefelser called the announcement a “pivotal moment for the fight to ensure every unborn child is welcomed and protected under the law.”

President Trump said that he intends to nominate someone to the Supreme Court from his list of 25 potential nominees released last year. The list includes Amy Coney Barrett, a former professor at Notre Dame Law School, who was controversially grilled over her Catholic faith during confirmation hearings last year.

If Roe were to be overturned, the legality of abortion would be decided at the state level. Some states have laws on the books that would effectively ban abortion if Roe were overturned.

Full story at Catholic News Agency.