By Steve Large

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement announcement has some of his Sacramento friends voicing admiration for his remarkable legal career.

Kennedy was born in Sacramento and graduated from McClatchy High School. He also taught at McGeorge School of Law. Federal court judge Morrison England was one of his students.

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“I love this man, and I love what he’s done,” England said. “And I love what he’s done for Sacramento.”

“And he’s one of the most incredibly kind, generous, intelligent people that a person could ever meet.”

A recent photo shows England and his wife with Kennedy.

Decades earlier England sat in Kennedy’s McGeorge School of Law constitutional law class, where he was amazed to watch Kennedy’s legal mind at work.

“In law school, there was no question from any of us, that Anthony Kennedy, if he wasn’t, should be in the United States Supreme Court,” England said.

A few years later, President Ronald Reagan appointed Kennedy to the Supreme Court. He was unanimously confirmed.

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The official portrait of Kennedy currently resides on loan at McGeorge School of Law in a research library. Now that he’s announced his retirement, the portrait will moved to the Supreme Court building.

It has been a career that has elevated this McClatchy graduate to the single highest court in the land.

“This is the pinnacle, of anyone who has ever gone into the legal profession,” England said. “This is the top.”

Over the years, Kennedy has returned to Sacramento to visit his friends.

“It’s clear and obvious where his roots are,” England said.

England is hoping that Justice Kennedy and his wife will move back to Sacramento.

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No word yet from Kennedy on those plans.