Because absolutely nothing gold can stay, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced today that he is retiring, handing President Donald Trump his second vacancy to fill on the nation’s highest court and giving him a perfect opportunity to drag the court even further to the right.Anthony Kennedy is a partisan political hack.
In a letter submitted to Trump, Kennedy said his retirement would be effective July 31.
While Kennedy was appointed to the court by Ronald Reagan, he’s been a deciding swing vote during his tenure, providing the key vote on issues like same sex marriage, campaign finance, and abortion.
His departure is also certain to decisively shift the ideological leanings of the court for decades to come—the consequences of which we’ve already started to see since Trump appointed Neil Gorsuch. In this session alone, the conservative court has dealt a crippling blow to public sector unions and upheld Trump’s Muslim ban.
We learned this in 2000 in Bush v. Gore, and this was reinforced over the past few weeks with his concurrences in redistricting, the Muslim ban, and union rights.
Of course, the fact that Trump is likely to try to find someone who is even worse to replace him is not reassuring.
I expect to see the court overturn Roe v. Wade in the next 18 months or so, and Eisenstadt v. Baird not that long afterward.
After that, should expect to see abortion made illegal, as well as significant restrictions on contraception, in a number of states.
Margaret Atwater may prove to be rather more prophetic than she would like.