Yesterday Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement from the Court, effective July 31st.
Justice Kennedy was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Ronald Reagan in 1987.
Under the Roberts court, Justice Kennedy was considered by many to have the “swing vote” when it came to determining a final ruling.
Though labeled a traditionally conservative judge, it is not easy to classify Justice Kennedy’s ideology in broad strokes. He treated cases individually, often siding with his more conservative colleagues on the court but voting against them on some key rulings celebrated by liberals.
A few of the impactful 5-4 rulings decided by Justice Kennedy includeObergefell v. Hodges, which effectively legalized same-sex marriage; Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which dramatically changed political campaign finance law; Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, which upheld abortion rights established by Roe V. Wade; and the most recent Trump v. Hawaii, which upheld President Trump’s travel ban.
Food For Thought
What kind of legacy does Justice Kennedy leave behind? What will his retirement mean for the future of the Supreme Court?