SACRAMENTO, CALIF., NOV. 13 -- Judge Anthony M. Kennedy, President Reagan's latest Supreme Court nominee, held a news conference today to tell reporters he couldn't answer questions because of the pending Senate confirmation process.

"Due respect for the Senate of the United States does require that I refrain from comments and observations and responses to the inquiries of the press," the federal appeals court judge told reporters and students gathered at McGeorge School of Law, where Kennedy has taught a night course on constitutional law since 1964. The law school is part of the University of the Pacific in Stockton.

Kennedy returned to his home in Sacramento Thursday night after spending five days in Washington meeting with Reagan administration officials and key senators. The only question he would answer today was when he plans to return to Washington."In the middle of next week or the following week. It depends on the schedule of the Senate," he replied.

Kennedy read a 1 1/2-page statement, some of which was directed to students lining the back of the room, and then left after only a few minutes before reporters and cameras.

"My understanding of the decorum and traditions that prevail is that it would intrude upon that {confirmation} process if I were to attempt to conduct a parallel discourse outside the confines of the Senate and, therefore, questions in reference to personal matters and my family, judicial matters and individual philosophy must appropriately be addressed in the first instance to the Senate Judiciary Committee," he said.