Justice Kennedy’s Abrupt Decision to Retire

Justice Anthony Kennedy, conservative Supreme Court Justice, has been reviled by strict constructionists and ultra conservatives for his votes on what many of them considered key issues like abortion and gay rights.  At the same time he has, for the most part, voted with the conservative Justices on the court.

His announcement to retire in advance of the mid-term elections is seen as no coincidence.  Conservative members of Congress like Chuck Grassley have asked for any justices considering retirement to do it yesterday, fearing that any replacements on the court might be blocked should there be a change in the Senate at the mid term elections.

So, Justice Kennedy has announced his retirement.  Is this a coincidence?

The New York Times reported that Anthony Kennedy's son, Justin, while involved with real estate investments at Deutche Bank was instrumental in securing a $1 Billion loan to Donald Trump for renovation of real estate in New York and Chicago at a time when other banks were unwilling to loan Trump money due to previous poor business practices. 

It seems that President Trump has been setting this retirement up by first nominating Neil Gorsuch, a former Kennedy clerk, as Supreme Court Justice.  The thought was that this would be a compliment to Kennedy, and the nomination of a justice most likely to follow in Kennedy’s footsteps.  The tit for that tat was that Kennedy would retire and allow a true conservative who would vote along the views of the most conservative of social conservatives allowing for the reversal of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.  Trump would do , then, all in his power to protect Kennedy’s legacy.

No one knows exactly what Special Council Robert Mueller knows, where the investigation into possible ties between the Trump Campaign and Russia's interference in the 2016 elections, and whether Justin Kennedy is in any way a suspect in the investigation.  If he is, and there are ties to Justice Kennedy nothing can protect his reputation.  That's sad, in a way, because Kennedy did seem to vote based on his interpretation of the constitution rather than his conservative ideology.

For those who see Trump as impetuous and incapable of long-term strategy this longer term strategy seems out of character.  Perhaps it is and it is the strategy of his henchmen.  Perhaps Trump is capable of more that he has been given credit for.

Whatever the case, Trump has announced that he will name a nominee on July 9, 2018.  He has a couple of women on his list.  No doubt they will be no Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

Views: 114

Comment by Lydieth A on June 30, 2018 at 12:25pm

Where's the This is Scary button. I keep wondering what the long game is for Trump. And this points out that whether he's this conniving or as feckless as he usually seems, neither possibility is comforting. Wake me up when it's time to vote again.

Comment by Safe Bet's Amy on June 30, 2018 at 12:26pm

I'm in serious, "I really don't care, do U?" mode.  

Justice "Swing Vote" gave us the Corpocracy's dearly beloved Citizens United decision, gave us the Florida Bush v. Gore decision recount fiasco, gave us increased gun violence through the District of Columbia v. Heller decision, etc.

Almost anyone Trump nominates can't be worse than what we had.

Comment by Maui Surfer on July 1, 2018 at 5:37pm

Overall, the only vote of actual conscience we've seen from any right leaning, (read total asshole, good for nothing scumbag who doesn't give a shit about other humans outside their insulated bag of scum breathers) was Roberts keeping health care alive, and he did it, one might guess, only to protect his legacy as this gang will go down in herstory as the biggest bags of dirt and manure ever used to fertilize up Red State credulous imbecilic voters gardens.

Comment by Rodney Roe on July 2, 2018 at 9:12am

While I understand that we are going to get a conservative for a conservative in the Trump nomination, I don't agree that it can't be worse.  A social conservative with an ideology that would encourage taking away rights to privacy and speech might set the U.S. back 50 years in terms of the treatment of women and the LGBTQ community. 

I also understand that there is nothing we can do but vote in November as an individual, but I have to work toward getting everyone out to vote who might work against those in power who want to have all of us under their thumb; preachers, businessmen, politicians, whoever.

Comment by Ron Powell on July 2, 2018 at 10:08am

@Amy; "Almost anyone Trump nominates can't be worse than what we had.."

Start with Sessions....

Whoever it is will be a Trump loyalist and a total incompetent....

Comment by Rodney Roe on July 2, 2018 at 10:20pm

The Founding Fathers set us up with a constitution that is nearly impossible to amend, requiring 2/3 majorities in House and Senate, and 3/4 majority in state legislatures.  That may be good, but not everyone was in favor of that approach.  Thomas Jefferson had a totally different view, saying, '... we should “provide in our constitution for its revision at stated periods.” “[E]ach generation” should have the “solemn opportunity” to update the constitution “every nineteen or twenty years,” thus allowing it to “be handed on, with periodical repairs, from generation to generation, to the end of time.”

Jefferson's view was that each generation would deal with its own issues and needed to have the capacity to change the constitution to deal with those issues.  Instead, we have to let the Supreme Court imagine how some wording in the Constitution might apply to current issues.  The alternative would be to let some special interest group like the "Freedom Caucus" bully other members of Congress into amending the constitution to advance a special interest.

@Ron, Sessions or Bolton or Betsy DeVos...the list is long.

Comment by Maui Surfer on July 3, 2018 at 5:29pm

At first the question was for Shrub the Lesser, and then it was an actual question "Is it incompetence or treason?" With the Confederate Yankee and his ilk, both are ironed in, guaranteed each will be in all.

Today yet another Poll, I know we all tire of them. This one? FORTY-NINE percent of AmeriKKKans think the President of their country is a racist. Read; weep. Vote in November before it is too late ... and oh yeah, next week the Traitor in Chief meets with Putin! Now to be a fly on that wall ...

Comment by Rodney Roe on July 3, 2018 at 10:08pm

 Meeting with Putin, trashing NATO, playing footy with Little Rocket Man. Poking not the bear but the Panda. The fly on the wall might get an ear full about an alliance of autocrats.

Comment by Gawzamn Dionus on July 3, 2018 at 10:09pm

It's interesting that "There are no official qualifications for becoming a Supreme Court justice. The Constitution spells out age, citizenship and residency requirements for becoming president of the United States or a member of Congress but mentions no rules for joining the nation's highest court." 

No official qualifications. Not age, citizenship or residency... would that an extraterrestrial could be nominated, we could likely better off for its being confirmed by the Senate.

Comment by Rodney Roe on July 3, 2018 at 10:10pm

Footsy...

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