U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy has announced his retirement effective July 31, ending 30 years of service that began with his 1988 confirmation in the Ronald Reagan administration.
November’s midterm elections are expected to produce a bitter struggle for control of Congress in a deeply polarized country, especially if a court seat is still in play.
Kennedy’s departure sets the stage for a brutal battle over his succession, a blueprint for which was established by Republican lawmakers in 2016 when they denied then-president Barack Obama the opportunity to fill the seat left vacant following the death of conservative justice Antonin Scalia. “I think that’s something the American people simply will not tolerate”.
Now, with the retirement of Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy on Wednesday, the true magnitude of Trump’s victory has come into clearer focus than ever before. But Republicans were twice as likely to say it’s the right amount of partisan – 22% to Democrats’ 11% and independents’ 10%.
Most recently, he was in dissent when his court upheld an opinion requiring the government to facilitate an abortion for an undocumented teen in U.S. custody.
McConnell changed the Senate rules previous year to ensure confirmation of a Supreme Court nominee with a simple majority, disposing of the filibuster.
Kennedy is and will remain a hero to many for his authorship of all four of the Supreme Court’s great decisions affirming the fundamental rights of gay people.
Looking ahead to Kennedy’s replacement, “I expect a spirited fight both in the Senate Judiciary Committee and on the Senate floor”, said Julius Hobson, Jr., JD, senior policy advisor at Polsinelli, a consulting firm here.
Kennedy, the court’s longest serving member, was considered a moderate voice.
It wasn’t just a capstone for the six-term Kentucky Republican, who has spent the past year and a half muscling 42 of President Trump’s judicial nominees through the Senate, including one Supreme Court justice and 21 appeals court judges. Kennedy signed on to a number of decisions upholding Roe v. Wade, which said abortion was a constitutional right. Will they have the nerve to reject a justice akin to Neil Gorsuch, who has proved to be dogmatically conservative? He was confirmed to the court after Republicans changed Senate rules, a move that was referred to as the nuclear option. But he was blocked by Senate Republicans, who refused to approve a Supreme Court nominee during a presidential election year.
Erman acknowledged that it is hard to tell if the president will have enough votes for a hardline conservative justice since there are a handful of Republican senators who may buck Trump, but there are at least a couple of conservative Democratic senators who may have to side with Trump to get re-elected.
“This vacancy on our nation’s highest court is a critical one”, Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, told Baptist Press. Trump’s nominee, likely to give the conservatives a solid majority, will face a Senate confirmation process in which Republicans hold the slimmest majority but Democrats can’t prevent a vote. And in 1992, he upheld Roe v. Wade. He announced some of those names during the 2016 campaign, seemingly using the list of potential judges to soothe conservative voters who felt uneasy about his candidacy.