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"We have a duty to show that democracy works through a discourse that's exciting and admirable." (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy wants a more “inspiring” public discourse that he thinks has taken a turn toward “insulting” and “divisive” rhetoric.

In remarks in California Tuesday, Kennedy said his urging for society to become more polite was not commentary on “recent political events or even to political dialogue,” according to the Sacramento Bee.

“In recent years, our civic discourse has all too often become intemperate, irrational, hostile, divisive, insulting, unprincipled,” Kennedy said, according to the newspaper. “I’m talking about our whole culture of dialogue — reviews of movies, comments on books, advice for young people… We have a duty to show that democracy works through a discourse that’s exciting and admirable, that’s inspiring.”

Speculation abounds that Kennedy, appointed by president Ronald Reagan, may be considering retirement. When he was running for president, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz publicly called for Kennedy to quit the high court, and President Trump’s administration is reportedly considering its options about how to replace him. Regardless of whether Kennedy is the next justice to leave the bench, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said he believes another seat on the Supreme Court will open before 2020.

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