aside US Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy Has Announced His Resignation

Image result for photos of justice anthony kennedy
KENNEDY

For the Democrats, one of the worst possible developments just happened. The one swing vote on the Supreme Court is Justice Anthony Kennedy who has just publicly announced his retirement on this 27th day of June 2018. The republican party will be looking to replace this republican justice with a jurist, further to the right.

The Democrats had best put on their boxing gloves and fight any republican nomination, tooth and nail. If the democrats in the US Congress roll over or just go through the motions, they can kiss their cushy jobs, goodbye.

Image result for photos of justice anthony kennedy

Here is the rest of the story…

On June 27, 2018, Richard L. Hasen of Slate penned the following report, “Did Justice Anthony Kennedy Just Signal His Retirement?” (“The depressing defeatism of Kennedy’s work this term indicates his time on the court could be coming to an end.”)

Excerpts:

“For Anthony Kennedy, America’s most powerful jurist, this term has brought unexpected and surprising expressions of powerlessness. After Tuesday’s ruling in the Trump travel ban case, it’s starting to feel like the end of his time on the court is near.”

“Rumors about Justice Kennedy’s retirement from the Supreme Court have circulated for well over a year, with the common one being that he was prepared to retire last year and some force—maybe norm-bashing President Donald Trump—stopped him. But something feels different this term.”

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“First there were the punts in the partisan gerrymandering and cake-making cases. Let’s start with the redistricting case. For the last 14 years, Kennedy has called upon litigants to come up with some standard to help the court separate permissible from impermissible consideration of party in redistricting. The court this term granted two different partisan gerrymandering cases: one with a Republican gerrymander and one with a Democratic gerrymander; one involving state legislative districts and the other involving congressional districts; and one with an equal protection theory and the other with Kennedy’s favorite, a First Amendment theory.”

“At oral argument in both cases, Kennedy hammered home how unconstitutional it would be for a state to pass a law that says we will do everything we can to make sure our party gets the most seats through redistricting. The stars were lined up.”

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“And yet when the time came to pull the trigger, Justice Hamlet just couldn’t. He joined a majority opinion that sidestepped the issue via a technicality, and pointedly did not join Justice Elena Kagan’s concurrence, which fleshed out the First Amendment theory Kennedy had been toying with for the last decade and a half. Had Kennedy joined Kagan’s opinion that would have meant five justices endorsing a First Amendment gerrymandering theory—and American politics would never be the same.”

“We saw Kennedy pull off a similar punt in Masterpiece Cakeshop, involving a clash between laws barring discrimination against LGBT people and the rights of religious liberties. Rather than continue his role as the Decider, Kennedy found some animus among the commissioners in Colorado who first resolved the case and sent the case back for further development. Another opportunity lost.”

“Then there was what Washington Post Supreme Court reporter Bob Barnes called the “punting after the punt.” The court could have set for argument a North Carolina case involving the most brazen partisan gerrymandering we’ve seen—the legislative leader of the state proudly proclaimed its partisan purpose, kind of like a precise Kennedy hypothetical in the earlier redistricting oral arguments. It could have also heard a follow-on case involving the anti-discrimination/religious liberties clash involving a florist in Washington state.”

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“But it sent those cases back to the lower courts for further development. If Kennedy could not make up his mind on these issues after so many years of thinking about them, why would anything be different next term?”

“Finally, on Tuesday, Kennedy joined in the majority opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts upholding Trump’s third iteration of the travel ban. Writing only for himself, Kennedy issued a short concurrence. It included this key point:”

“There are numerous instances in which the statements and actions of Government officials are not subject to judicial scrutiny or intervention. That does not mean those officials are free to disregard the Constitution and the rights it proclaims and protects. The oath that all officials take to adhere to the Constitution is not confined to those spheres in which the Judiciary can correct or even comment upon what those officials say or do. Indeed, the very fact that an official may have broad discretion, discretion free from judicial scrutiny, makes it all the more imperative for him or her to adhere to the Constitution and to its meaning and its promise.”The statement was of course directed at Trump. It seemed to offer that even when courts (in Kennedy’s view) lack the power to rein in actions based on animus toward a disfavored minority, it would still be incumbent on the president to independently uphold the Constitution. The current president, of course, this week called for an end to due process reviews at the border. So it might be unwise to count on this particular president to do his part here.”

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“And yet Kennedy’s statement seems to explain much more than that. It is a general statement of judicial powerlessness to solve social problems and an abdication of responsibility on the part of the courts to enforce key parts of the Constitution, in favor of a plea for self-restraint on the part of elected officials.”

“Now, there’s no way to know if Kennedy really believes the fairy tales that someone like Trump can be reined in to act without animus, or that politicians, when given the chance to engage in the most political partisan gerrymandering, will restrain themselves.”

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“Coming from America’s most powerful jurist for the last decade, it is a depressing kind of defeatism.”

“In the past, of course, Kennedy has not shown that he felt much of a reason to restrain himself. He has not let public officials come to their own terms in regard to same-sex marriage when he could have allowed the issues to percolate through the states. He has not allowed Congress the chance to restrain itself from passing campaign finance reform measures, which Kennedy sees as raising serious First Amendment challenges. Even in Tuesday’s other opinion, involving “crisis pregnancy centers,” Justice Kennedy analogized the California Legislature, which had required disclosure of information from anti-abortion centers masquerading as abortion clinics, to “relentless authoritarian regimes” that attempt to “stifle free speech.”

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“But on the key issues of the day, the feeling from Kennedy is that he’s done. It appears that this will be the first term since he’s become a swing justice where he did not side with the liberals in one significant 5–4 case. He’s returned to his conservative roots and has given up decisively bucking his own party. The separate concurrence in the travel ban case felt to me like a Kennedy mic drop. He’s done all that he can do to fix the problems in American society. Now it’s up to those in power, and those who put them there.”

“Coming from America’s most powerful jurist for the last decade, it is a depressing kind of defeatism. If he retires these final abdications will also prove to be blind to how the next justice has the great potential to undo much of Anthony Kennedy’s legacy.”

17 comments

    • Dear Kim,

      That’s just for starters. There is the dark money problem in politics. Corporations are going to push hard for a conservative justice to be voted on Before November 2018.

      This is the time for the Democrats in the US Congress to fight dirty, McConnell style/ McConnell rules.

      Then in November, Democrats have to win the majority of seats in both houses of the US Congress.

      Hugs, Gronda

    • Dear 1EarthUnited,

      President Trump and the republicans in the US Senate will pick a conservative judge to the right of Justice Kennedy.

      We will see who he will pick from the 25 names that he has on a list developed mostly by the Federalist Society.

      Hugs, Gronda

  1. Dear Gronda,

    Just curious, why do my comments go into moderation? Am I in timeout for posting non popular words or opinions? Feel free to delete this comment, if you wish..

    • Dear Crustyolemothman,

      I do not know why names are selected for moderation by the system.

      I would never set anyone up for systemic moderation. If I think someone is out of line I just put them in the spam box.

      The system has done this to Keith and 1EarthUnited a lot. I don’t know how to fix this.

      I appreciate all of your comments.

      Hugs, Gronda

    • Mothman,
      Some possible reasons:
      1. If a comment contains more than 3 links, it automatically goes to the moderation queue. Word Press automatically does this because there are comment spammers who load their comments with links. The default for the number of links can be changed by blog administrators, but Word Press advises against raising the number of links in comments.

      2. With today’s technology of people using SmartPhones and WiFi, doing so can change the IP address on the comment. Word Press “reads” new commenters by IP address and if not reading it as one automatically approved for posting directly to the public board, the Word Press system will send the comment to the moderation queue. If people are using laptops or SmartPhones in public places to access the internet, the IP address will not be the same as when they are on the internet at home through their ISP.

      • Dear Xena & Gronda,

        I am careful to not place more than two links in a post, I know Word Press is finicky about that! I can’t use my smart iphone to post, simply because my aged eyes will not allow me to. I never ever, connect phone or lap top to public WiFi, lesson learned about that several years ago. While I do have access to several ip addresses, I use only this one for communication to and from Word Press. Perhaps the “awaiting moderation” is a sign that I need to take a vacation from posting. Thank you both for responding to my question asked out of frustration after hitting a brick wall too frequently over the last few months. Have a good evening! 😉

        • Mothman, if “awaiting moderation” is a sign of anything, it’s that Word Press burbs. Compared to what I’ve heard about other blog hosting companies, a little indigestion now and then can be tolerated. 🙂 Hang in there. I appreciate your comments. You always get me thinking.

        • No problem. There’s one person who submits comments to my blog that always go into spam. I figured he had sent so many insulting comments to blogs that clicked them as spam, that the Word Press program automatically recognizes his email and/or IP address and places them there. It happens.

  2. Dear Mz. Gronda,

    While I realize this is also off topic, it might be something you wish to look at! I have searched and have found no political bias to this publication, however I as normal can not guarantee there is none.. Did the administration actually reach a peace agreement? Maybe, but it is not looking quite so positive as of this point…

    https://www.38north.org/2018/06/yongbyon062618/

    • Dear Crrustyolemothman,

      Thanks a lot for the reference, I’ll blog on this later.

      What I’m worried about also is President Trump pushing for a summit with President Putin. It was President Putin who asked for there to be no more joint military exercises among the US, S Korea and other allies. President Trump surprised all his advisers with this announcement.

      I hope the IC community will be recording him.

      Hugs, Gronda

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