Thursday, 19 July, 2018

Big cases, retirement rumors as Supreme Court nears finish

U.S. Supreme Court generic The U.S. Supreme Court in Washington is shown in this June 2012
Sandy Vega | 27 June, 2017, 06:46

Justice Anthony Kennedy hasn't said when he's retiring, or whether he might announce his decision on the last day of the court's current term, but rumors that the soon to be 81-year-old judge is stepping down are swirling.

Specifically, the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy, who will turn 81 next month and is the longest-serving current justice, named to the high court nearly 30 years ago.

The point was - and is - this: Whether or not conservatives loved or even liked Trump, he would nominate people to the Supreme Court who were considerably more conservative than the people Hillary Clinton would choose.

Gorsuch was picked by President Donald Trump to be a reliable conservative in the mold of the late Antonin Scalia. The ban was blocked by lower courts and the high court agreed to hear oral arguments in its next term starting in October.

In another report at the top of 8 a.m. ET hour, Williams fretted that Kennedy's retirement "would allow President Trump to make the Court solidly conservative for decades".

The last day of the Supreme Court's term was notable not only for what was announced but also for what wasn't.

On ABC's Good Morning America, correspondent Terry Moran declared that any such announcement would be "huge" and promised "a war for this court like nothing seen in the past 30 years since the nomination of Robert Bork was defeated and Justice Kennedy took his seat".

But in the world of political punditry it signals the beginning of the Supreme Court recess and the question of whether or not any of the justices are preparing to bail out on the job and go spend some well deserved time with their families. Kennedy was a part of the plurality opinion which said the right to abortion was a fundamental part of the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause.

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"I expect Armageddon on the next one", Republican Senator Orrin Hatch said after the Gorsuch confirmation, "because that's going to change... the direction of the court" far into the future.

"They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law and the Constitution grants them that right", Kennedy wrote. He was a fifth vote in District of Columbia v. Heller, which held that the Second Amendment protects a right of individuals to have guns in their homes.

MORAN: And then the real buzz about Justice Anthony Kennedy. Last year, he wrote the opinion in Fisher v. University of Texas, Austin, upholding an affirmative action program.

If he does end up retiring, the Supreme Court might lose its swing vote.

Kerr tweeted again Saturday referring to his earlier tweet: "To be clear, I have zero inside knowledge about if Kennedy will retire".

Despite the setbacks he has encountered from obstructionist Democrats and the violent, radical "Resist Trump" movement, the president will have a longstanding impact on the lives of all Americans for decades to come with his reshaping of the U.S. Supreme Court.

In the event of a vacancy, she said the president would look for a candidate with similar credentials to his previous nominee who was confirmed, Justice Neil Gorsuch. This was originally posted on the Media Research Center blog NewsBusters.

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