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Justice Kennedy, key vote on abortion and gay marriage, quits Supreme Court

Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy testifies before a House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services hearing to review the FY 2016 budget request of the Supreme Court of the United States, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, March 23, 2015. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy said Wednesday (June 27) he is retiring, giving President Trump the chance to cement conservative control of the high court.

The 81-year-old Kennedy said he is stepping down after more than 30 years on the court. A Republican appointee, he has held the key vote on such high-profile issues as abortion, affirmative action, gay rights, guns, campaign finance and voting rights.

Without him, the court will be split between four liberal justices who were appointed by Democratic presidents and four conservatives who were named by Republicans. Trump’s nominee is likely to give the conservatives a solid majority and will face a Senate process in which Republicans hold the slimmest majority, but Democrats can’t delay confirmation.

Trump’s first high court nominee, Justice Neil Gorsuch, was confirmed in April 2017.

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  • The radical Republican cout d’état which began when the Supreme Court stole the 2000 election for George W. Bush and continued when Mitch McConnell stole the Supreme Court seat that rightfully belonged to Merrick Garland is now complete. Corporations and the ultra wealthy are now in complete control. The only silver lining is that the rural Trump voters who thought that he would be their champion will get totally screwed along with the rest of us soon-to-be former members of the middle class. It may take awhile as they allow themselves to be distracted on Fox News with Democrat-bashing and obsessing over God, guns, and gays, and probably even Hillary Clinton (still), but eventually, once they lose their jobs it might even occur to them to look in the mirror in order to figure out how that happened. But I’m not holding my breath waiting for that to happen. Right-wing delusion knows no bounds.

    Congratulations, conservatives – your lying, cheating, and stealing has paid off – bigly! So take a bow and take your victory lap – you’ve earned it.

  • Yes. But no picture needed. I knew he was on his way out when I read the Masterpiece decision.

  • At 80, Anyone has earned their right to retire. It frightens me to think who will be appointed.

  • Good bye, happy retirement.

    Now let’s get the court back to sanity.

    It is interesting to watch the libs frothing at Kennedy for finally taking retirement..they are unhealthily tied to their agenda.

  • It’s even funnier to see some of them piously musing NOW over their Xanax lattes that all this reliance on the judiciary to save them is “unhealthy.” That it’s time to focus on the legislatures.

    Duh, ya think?

    I kid you not. Read some of the reactions out there — it’s surreal.

  • Shawnie5, stop drooling out your venom, you lecherous but aging-out old cougar. It’s just too Christian and venomous of you.

  • He’s aging out more gracefully than you are Shawnie, you lecherous and wrinkled old cougar.

  • One of our sitting justice wrote in an article in National Review:

    “American liberals have become addicted to the courtroom, relying on judges and lawyers rather than elected leaders and the ballot box, as the primary means of effecting their social agenda” and that they are “failing to reach out and persuade the public”.

    In doing so, American liberals are circumventing the democratic process on issues like gay marriage, school vouchers, and assisted suicide, and this has led to a compromised judiciary, which is no longer independent.

    This justice wrote that American liberals’ “overweening addiction” to using the courts for social debate is “bad for the nation and bad for the judiciary”.

    If the next nomination simply results in a hard road for the ACLU and the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco, I’ll be pleased.

    Prior to the 2016 election Democrats pleaded with Ginsburg to resign to avoid exactly what is happening.

  • Christianity is dying, because you morons just can’t handle the fact that gay and pregnant people have rights. Get raptured.

  • I’m not Bob, but I like a lot of what he posts. Get some free reading glasses from one of the government agencies.

  • I’m not going to lie to you, Charlotte. Don’t know why, but every photo of Ginsberg I’ve seen over the past few years, looks like straight outta Alfred Hitchcock. Just that tiny little hint of judicial creepypasta.

    Way too much bitterness and anti-Christian animus, really.

  • One fine jurist.

    Even if Trump accomplished nothing else besides putting him on the Court, it would all be worth it.

  • What fascinating form of age-ism you have going on there, as well as a strong bent towards Christian Supremacy.

  • This “Lisa Strom” account is the sixth or seventh after Disqus closed the preceding ones.

  • She is not “offending” the Constitution. You disagree with her interpretation, as I disagree with the decisions that came down in the past few days.

  • Meanwhile “Bob Arnzen” or whatever his latest nom de tromperie is, is on at least his eleventh account.

    Bob, we’ve caught you and now you are dodging most of the time.

  • No, there isn’t, obviously. A god would not create a creature as flawed and foul as “Bob Arnzen”.

  • Well, at least you got the boot out of DC circles, Bobber. The beltway and the world are better without any influence from you.

  • What’s offensive is her outright disparaging of our Constitution as outdated and inadequate. Hence her drive to fill in the blanks, so to speak — which is the job of the legislature and NOT the judiciary.

  • She represents the “living Constitution” model taken to its extreme.

    In her last few dissents she seems to have recognized how far out she’s become and simply used her dissent to do commentary.

    Sadly Sotomayor is even zanier.

  • The hard part is just ahead, a lifetime of hard work and then you have to stand before the Judge because of a few grave decisions. The grinding of teeth begins.

  • Again, a lot of abortion/Kennedy/Roe vs. Wade verbiage as the result of a very large number of irresponsible humans practicing unsafe sex. For example, if men used condoms instead of leaving them in their pockets etc., the number of unplanned pregnancies due to this failure would be reduced from 1.2 million/year in the USA to 138,000 per year based on Guttmacher statistics. And if women would remember to take the Pill daily, the number of unplanned pregnancies due to this failure would be reduced from 1 million a year to 38,000. For some strange reason, Guttmacher failed to give statistics for the combined use of the Pill and a condom. One, however, assumes it would be substantially lower than 38,000 unplanned pregnancies/year as one would be using a double “whammy” to prevent pregnancies.

    In the meantime, women have got to stop playing “abortion roulette” by using something more reliable than the daily Pill and/or depending on her partner to use a condom for pregnancy and STD protection. See . Note some dimensional analysis required to properly understand the statistics.

  • “See guys; there is a GOD.”

    Yes, of course. Every rational person knows there is a Grand Old Delusion.

  • Neither are you.

    Original intent = make up crap to pretend the 14th amendment doesn’t exist.

  • That was nonsense. The judiciary is a check on legislative power. Every discriminatory and unconstitutional law was passed by a majority vote by the legislature. Hence judicial power to strike it down and protect the rights of all people You have no respect for the constitution or it’s principles.

  • Original intent = fundamental principle of constitutional construction that Tater doesn’t understand.

  • That’s what you say in public, but the rulings by such proponents say otherwise.

    Original construction meaning before the 14th amendment and bereft of any notion of civil liberties and state based discrimination.

    If they could get away with considering blacks as 3/5 of a person under the original constitution, they would. 🙂

  • “Living Constitution” was merely a bit of Woodrow Wilson’s characteristic high-handed blather, which happened to appeal to those who despise legislative representation and want to amend the constitution without having to follow the process outlined in the document itself or bother with the unwashed and unworthy “we the people.”

    The founders would have been puzzled at the idea of ink and parchment “breathing.”

    The whole point of ink and parchment is to make written content permanent until officially and physically changed.

  • Original construction applies to the entire Constitution, Einstein. Including all the amendments.

  • Of course it did. “Original construction” is a catchphrase for pretending the judiciary is not a check on legislative power.

    That majority rule is more important than civil liberties. A way to ignore the 14th amendment and make up garbage to suit conservative platform. As the record of “Constitution Originalists” on the bench have demonstrated.

  • Still confused by the difference between judicial review and judicial legislation, I see.

    Why do you hate our Constitution?

  • Nope.

    One is an actual thing used by SCOTUS for 215 years and is the basis of their power to deliver substantive rulings.

    The other is a garbage whine by conservatives who attack the judiciary when they can’t cough up meritorious legal arguments. The legal equivalent of blaming the equipment when one performs badly in a sport.

    Despite garbage rulings by SCOTUS, one never sees liberals attacking the judiciary itself over such things. Because they respect the system and its function. Conservatives don’t seem to respect much of anything.

  • So conservatives claim. But somehow equal protection under the law seems to end up being trampled in such rulings. As does legal reasoning, common sense and usually basic facts.

  • Judicial legislation is not a “garbage whine by conservatives” but an actual possibility that was considered, voted upon, and soundly rejected by the Constitutional Convention. The judiciary is to have no role in lawmaking whatsoever. Separation of powers is part and parcel of our constitution.

    Nobody is attacking the judiciary here. On the contrary, I’m looking forward to getting it back on its right track.

  • Oh, I don’t think EP is being trampled upon — the black codes are long gone. And as for legal reasoning/sense/facts, you are in no position to recognize those.

  • You “may not think so”, but it certainly is the case by such people and your intention for supporting such things.

    So you are saying discrimination no longer happens or that you support such things? Its tough to tell which nonsense excuse you are trying to employ with such discussions.

  • Of course it is. Conservatives are the only people who invoke it. It is always invoked when they lose spectacularly on a civil liberties issue. It is why you employ self-defined terms and pretend powers of the court are more limited than reality has ever suggested. Its complete fictional sour grapes grousing by hypocrites.

    ” The judiciary is to have no role in lawmaking whatsoever.”

    Never been true. The judiciary is a check upon the lawmakers and the branch of government with the sole duty in interpreting the law in accordance to conflicts between parties. You clearly do not support the separation of powers or system of checks and balances. Seeking a stronger legislature which for you would not be restrained by judicial interpretation.

    You deny the basic function of the judiciary. Its entirely due to the lack of ability to come up with meritorious legal arguments in support of your positions.

    Its telling that all the “Constitutional Originalists” are basically bigots and miscreants who are hostile to civil liberties in general. Yourself included. 🙂

  • First attack: Roe v. Wade
    Second attack: Griswold v. Connecticut
    Third attack: Guaranteeing that the right to privacy is not protected by the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. (Hint: right to privacy is NOT mentioned in this amendment)
    Justice Hugo Black argued that the right to privacy is nowhere to be found in the Constitution. Furthermore, he criticized the interpretations of the Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments by his fellow justices.

  • Judicial legislation, Einstein, was the brainchild of early 20th century jurists who killed perfectly legitimate, PROGRESSIVE social legislation in order to protect the “property rights” of big business. They invented the bogus concept of “substantive due process” (aka reading baloney that isn’t there into the constitution) which initiated the mess we are in now. Learn some history after you learn to read.

    The judiciary’s check upon the legislature does not imply a judicial role in lawmaking. You are still confused about judicial review vs judicial legislation. The only legitimate tool the judiciary has with which to restrain the legislature is the constitution as written, which being the voice of the People is superior to both.

    Bigots come in all varieties, Tater. You, quite clearly, are one of the most obnoxious ones I have ever encountered. Don’t stop on my account, though — it’s what makes you entertaining.

  • The kind of discrimination that the 14th Amendment was enacted to remedy no longer exists in any significant form. “Discrimination” in the abstract, however, is simply a fact of life. Everyone discriminates every day.

  • Then it appears your state legislatures will have some work to do.

    Actually, I would not expect a sea change in any of those areas. The few states that might outlaw abortion are the ones where it is already hard to get one anyway.

  • Hardly the case. As I said, you are trying to handwave its existence and the interpretations away.

    You are just confirming everything I am saying. The whole point of “Constitutional originalism” is to make up fictions to attack civil liberties and support discrimination.

    “Everyone discriminates every day.”

    And bigots like yourself prefer such discrimination be given color of law. How very deplorable of you. 🙂

  • Judicial legislation is a nonsense phrase which ignores the long history of how our courts have operated and ruled, going back as far as the Common Law courts of the middle ages which formed the basis of our judiciary.

    You admit it is entirely the view of conservatives. You admit your position is to support discriminatory laws and attack the rights of others under color of law.

    “was raised from the dead by 20th century jurists who killed perfectly legitimate, PROGRESSIVE social legislation in order to protect the “property rights” of big business.”

    Now the Gish Gallop is starting…. I am sure that sounded like an assertion of fact that someone who wasn’t a wingnut was supposed to pick up on. But it looks like another one of your patented wild and vague fictions you love to go on and on about.

    “The only legitimate tool the judiciary has with which to restrain the legislature is the constitution as written, which being the voice of the People is superior to both.”

    You only claim the judiciary is violating the constitution as written when you don’t like the decision. Again sour grapes grousing. “The voice of the people” aka majority rule has never been carte blanche to attack the rights of others despite legislative efforts. The Judiciary checks such power to ensure laws are constitutional and the rights of all are protected. Something you clearly despise.

    You are talking out of both sides of your mouth here. You cannot say you support separation of powers and checks and balances and then claim the legislature must be unrestrained from judicial decisions and discretion.

    You already made it clear in another post you only support such measures because they make discriminatory laws harder to fight.

    Your view of what the judiciary does and must do has no relation to what they have ever done. Aspirational nonsense from sore losers who are unable to cough up decent arguments for their views.

  • Almost all “discrimination” already has color of law. Civilization could hardly survive if we did not have the ability to choose this and not that.

    And “interpretations” can be handwaved away (as you put it) if they are later acknowledged to be fictions (as you put it). The SCOTUS has done this many times over its history.

  • “Civilization could hardly survive if we did not have the ability to choose this and not that.”

    Hardly true. But I guess one has to rationalize how their hatred and malice should lack accountability. I can only say I am surprised by how frank you are being here.

    Conservatives only get into a tizzy about “judicial activism” when they lose a case and were so bereft of a reasonable argument. When they win based on specious reasoning, omission of key facts and wildly inaccurate interpretations of law, no such arguments get proffered by them. Because they don’t really care about how the system works as long as they get what they want.

    It is not about interpretation of the constitution or powers allegedly circumscribed by the Judiciary. Its about having a rubber stamp to attack others with legislation. Spite incarnate.

    “Constitutional originalism” all comes down to making crap up to attack others under color of law.

  • Judicial legislation, or lawmaking, was the subject of many passages of the Federalist Papers, and considerable discussion of the Constitutional Convention. Analogizing to English common law is prima facie garbage; our constitution is committed to writing, theirs is not.

    No, I do not admit that it is entirely the view of conservatives — it began as entirely the view of social progressives. But if it were, that certainly says nothing against its accuracy except in your limited mind.

    What is at issue here, it seems I must patiently explain for the 850th time, is not the judiciary’s power to restrain government and protect people’s rights but the power to MAKE UP rights that have no constitutional grounding. Because our republic is by definition a federal one which possesses ONLY those powers expressly doled out it it by the constitution. If there is no specific constitutional matter involved, there is no reason for any state to “cough up decent arguments” for anything it does.

    “Your view of what the judiciary does and must do has no relation to what they have ever done.” You have no earthly idea what the judiciary has ever done, or you would not hide behind your customary gish gallop nonsense…which is invariably the signal that you are now in over your head. Go take a break.

  • ROFL! Tater, go back and read what you wrote about when conservatives win. That was priceless!

    Let me fix it for you:

    Liberals only get into a tizzy about specious reasoning, omission of key facts and wildly inaccurate interpretations of law when they lose a case and were so bereft of a reasonable argument.

    Hypocrisy, thy name is liberal.

    Now, let’s see here … founding fathers and accomplished members of the legal profession James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, John Jay, John Marshall all affirmed that originalism is a fundamental principle of constitutional interpretation.

    Insurance-in-some-capacity movie-buff cyber-troll who doesn’t know what federalism is affirms that originalism is making crap up to attack others under color of law.

    Gee, which one do I go with…? ?

    I think I’ll go with the one who is (incorrectly) credited with establishing the principle of judicial review:

    –To say that the intention of the instrument must prevail; that this intention must be collected from its words; that its words are to be understood in that sense in which they are generally used by those for whom the instrument was intended; that its provisions are neither to be restricted into insignificance, nor extended to objects not comprehended in them, nor contemplated by its framers; — is to repeat what has been already said more at large, and is all that can be necessary. — Chief Justice John Marshall.

  • Don’t worry. Hopefully Trump will place a constitutionalist on the bench and our freedoms will start to be restored.

  • “Analogizing to English common law is prima facie garbage; our constitution is committed to writing, theirs is not.”

    Well that was a superficial answer and a dodge from the fact that “judge made law” predates our Constitution by quite some time and was simply subsumed but not at all replaced by the Constitution on the subject. Most importantly the Constitution, nor any reasonable interpretation of it simply does not address it in the way you claim.

    “No, I do not admit that it is entirely the view of conservatives”

    Yet only conservatives call themselves “Constitutional Originalists” and it is always in opposition to a ruling which deals with recognition of civil liberties. That is not a coincidence. It is proof the term is merely a pseudo-intellectual gloss for what amounts to sour grapes grousing.

    “is not the judiciary’s power to restrain government and protect people’s rights but the power to MAKE UP rights that have no constitutional grounding”

    An opinion which flies in the face of how the Judiciary has always acted. Your expressed desire as opposed to reality, and to put it mildly sane functioning of the Supreme Court. It is only your view that they have ruled without constitutional grounding. A rather self-serving, generally dishonest and rather ignorant one. They certainly are willing to explain how they ground their views in constitutional interpretation in large carefully drafted opinions.

    What you want and how things work are clearly at odds here.

    ” your customary gish gallop nonsense”

    If not for gish gallops, where would your arguments be? I have yet to see someone take you seriously in an argument who didn’t accuse you of weaselwording, goalpost shifting or just plain misrepresentation of facts. I wonder why?

  • Now you are just proving my point with cheap insults. Yup, its all about giving malice color of law for you. Nothing but pretense of care for the democratic system, civil liberties or a working judiciary.

  • No one claims that the constitution replaces or subsumes anything, and the use of such terms highlights your ignorance of federalism. The constitution is an exhaustive list of specific powers carved out of the states’ general police power and granted to the national government. It is only within those enumerated powers that any federal branch, including the judiciary, may legitimately operate.

    So it’s mostly conservatives TODAY who complain of judicial legislation. So what? It was different before, and it will likely be different again. I, for one, have been extremely amused at how many liberals have suddenly fallen head over heels in love with states’ rights since they lost control of the federal government.

    Oh of course the SCOTUS explains their rulings dressed up in constitutional language, and low-info people like you who don’t read the opinions anyway trust that there is some basis for it— if you like the outcome, that is. Yet I gave yet to see anyone point to a right to privacy in the constitution. And that is because it was pulled from an unelected oligarch’s black-robed posterior and NOT enumerated to the feds by the supreme law of the land. And no, it has not always been this way but had a very specific beginning point during the Wilson era.

    What I want and how things currently work may be at odds at the moment, but I expect things will start to work a bit differently shortly

    LOL! Do you have MPD or something? The ONLY one who accuses me of weasel wording, goal post shifting and misrepresentation is you — generally when you are out of ammo. And even if you weren’t the only one it would bother me not at all. I know the climate and the level of the typical commenters around here and I’m not here to make buddies but to discuss specific issues.

  • Only those who disagree with me about our government treating people with a baseline basic respect and dignity. Because they are by definition bigots. Those who want to harm others in accordance with their personal prejudices and under color of law. Like you.

    You are not refuting the label. Just showing me you are thin skinned about reading it.

  • You just did. But then again you throw up so much junk and love to shift goalposts so often, maybe you forgot.

    Is this a case of you not keeping your arguments straight or just not really caring what they are?

  • No, it’s a case of you not being able to follow them because no one ever taught you what a federal republic is.

  • It was actually designed to obstruct change.

    They had lived under the British system all their lives and knew where that led.

  • “Yet only conservatives call themselves ‘Constitutional Originalists’ and
    it is always in opposition to a ruling which deals with recognition of
    civil liberties.” is ridiculous on its face.

  • Judicial legislation refers to one or more judges writing where the law is blank, or overwriting the law already written.

  • Liberals only attack the SCOTUS when it rules in a way they dislike.

    Since the written Constitution, laws, and precedence mean nothing to them, stepping all over any or all of them presents no problems for them as long as they get the result they want.

  • Not sure you are using the term bigot correctly; but when one has weak arguments they resort to name calling.
    You can call me what you want but I will stand up to socialists like you who have no regard for the rule of law and who wish to fundamentally change this country by any means.

  • I think you are using the term bigot incorrectly. Anyway, I have no problem standing up to socialists who wish to change the country by any means necessary.

  • Nope. Using it correctly. You have no problem expecting your prejudice to be given color of law and are thin skinned about it being pointed out. Bigot + snowflake = whiny.

  • Nope. I follow you. You are just full of it and avoid staying on topic on any given point.

  • How droll. But nope.

    What you typically call “Anti-Christian” or “anti-white” prejudice is more honestly upholding principles of our nation, its laws, and the rights of its people.

  • Dude-that’s the same thing I say! But you don’t want to adhere to laws – the law was one man one woman. You didn’t like that. The law is you need to enter the country legally -you don’t like that, etc.
    face it buddy – your the real bigot and racist here.

  • Not at all. I am merely calling your accusations phony and thin skinned.

    “But you don’t want to adhere to laws”

    You don’t even bother to know the laws, so you are never in a position to accuse anyone of such things.

    “The law is you need to enter the country legally…”

    Ignoramus is unaware that valid asylum and refugee claims allow illegal entry penalties to be waived and the person becomes a legal immigrant.

    Your entire position is based on malice, project and utter and willful ignorance.

    You are still the bigot here. Someone who wants to give their prejudice and malice color of law.

  • Sorry don’t speak wingnut.

    Let me guess, you are one of those “Deep State” buffoons.

    Sorry buddy, but its really the “Derp State” here which is a problem. Trump is at war with people who have experience, skills and a modicum of professional ethics. Preferring easily led fools failing upwards(Carson, Perry…) or thieves who look to Trump to engorge themselves at public expense (Mnuchin, DeVoss, Pruitt…)

  • I am sure that every person who has “experience, skills and a modicum of professional ethics” in your most humble opinion is a Democrat.

  • So, if you follow the law illegal entry is a crime.

    If you choose you may waive the penalty.

    If you don’t choose, you’re adhering to the law, right?

  • Oh, you poor, swet baby. You wouldn’t know what freedom is if it bit you on the pockmarked tuckis.

  • Not sure trump has anything to do with that. Pretty sure the constitution and bill of rights do.

  • What does the Presidential oath of office say? To protect and defend the constitution, mm-hmm? That never stopped someone who’s a menace to freedom. Those are pieces of paper. As our beloved Founding Mother Abigail Adams said, “You may as well attempt to bind a hungry tiger with a cobweb.

  • No it doesn’t. We’re just going to be facing a more conservative interpretation of the Constitution – which the Left will vehemently call unconstitutional. As another poster indicated work to get these issues into law and constitutional ammendments.

  • .
    “Key vote”?

    13 Conservative/Liberal 5-4 SCOTUS Decisions This Year.

    Kennedy Sided with Conservatives All 13 Times.

  • .
    “Nice lookin’ kid ya got there — be a shame if anything happened to him.”

    — “President” Donald Trump to SCOTUS Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy in regard to Kennedy’s son, Justin Kennedy, a senior official at Deutsche Bank, the only institution that will loan Trump money.

  • .
    If Justin Kennedy was complicit in Deutsche Bank’s illegal activities, or could plausibly be scapegoated for same, that would be the “hook” or leverage that Trump could use to blackmail his father, Anthony Kennedy.