Justice Anthony Kennedy announces retirement, gives Trump second Supreme Court pick

Justice Anthony Kennedy announces retirement, gives Trump second Supreme Court pick

[Ding dong, the old wicked warlock is retiring!]

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 27, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Justice Anthony Kennedy announced Wednesday that he is retiring from the United States Supreme Court, confirming months of speculation and clearing the way for President Donald Trump to appoint his second judge to the critical body.

Kennedy confirmed his resignation in a brief letter to the president. “For a member of the legal profession it is the highest of honors to serve on this Court,” Kennedy wrote. “Please permit me by this letter to express my profound gratitude for having had the privilege to seek in each case how best to know, interpret, and defend the Constitution and the laws that must always conform to its mandates and promises.”

Originally appointed by Republican President Ronald Reagan, Kennedy has been a notorious swing vote on the court. He has cast multiple votesboth protecting legal abortion and affirming the homosexual agenda, though he has also signaled openness to some abortion restrictions. Most recently he ruled in favor of pro-life pregnancy centers’ free speech rights in California, and against religious hostility displayed by Colorado officials attempting to force Christian baker Jack Phillips to create a cake for a same-sex “wedding.”

Despite Kennedy’s jurisprudence occasionally yielding outcomes favorable to pro-life and pro-family advocates, they ultimately faulted him for an “incoherent” legal philosophy at odds with the Constitution.

“In the 1992 Casey decision upholding Roe v. Wade, he waxed poetic about ‘the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of life,’” National Review editor Rich Lowry wrote in 2008. “In the 2007 Carhart decision upholding the partial-birth abortion ban, he waxed again, this time about ‘respect for human life find[ing] an ultimate expression in the bond of love the mother has for her child.’”

“Evidently, Kennedy goes about his job unburdened by the fact that his views on existence or on the mother-child bond have nothing whatsoever to do with the Constitution,” Lowry continued. “But so it goes, as long as the Supreme Court is divided between four liberals, four conservatives and one self-important man who can’t differentiate between his inner compass and the nation’s fundamental law.”

In Kennedy’s view government officials with religious objections to facilitating same-sex unions “ought to quit, because the system tells you that you can never change the system; instead, you ought to vanish and shy away from confronting evil,” Professor Robert Oscar Lopez of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary wrote. “Yet this is the same man who wrote, in his Obergefell decision, that […] same-sex couples deserve custody of other people’s offspring, because the system that denies gays these things—which some might call ‘the natural world’—is unfair and must be changed.”

“In the 2016 case of Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, Kennedy showed beyond a doubt that he can be counted on to defend the abortion industry against laws to protect mothers and unborn children from abortion,” Texas Alliance for Life’s Christopher Maska wrote. “Kennedy joined the 5-3 majority that gutted key pro-life safety provisions of HB 2. Just like in Casey, if Kennedy had changed his vote in Hellerstedt, the pro-life cause would have prevailed.”

Kennedy’s retirement is certain to intensify an already heated midterm election season this fall, as it provides President Trump the opportunity to appoint a second justice to the Supreme Court. His first justice, Neil Gorsuch, has not yet ruled on abortion’s legality but is generally embraced by pro-life advocates.

Trump, speaking to reporters Wednesday, called Kennedy a “great justice,” adding that he displayed “tremendous vision and heart.” The search for Kennedy’s successor will start “immediately,” he said.

Replacing Kennedy with a pro-life, originalist judge could give the Supreme Court its first pro-life majority since before 1973, potentially enabling Roe v. Wade to finally be overturned in one of several battles over pro-life state laws currently winding through the legal system.

Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) president Marjorie Dannenfelser said that Kennedy’s retirement marks a pivotal moment for the pro-life movement.

“Justice Kennedy’s retirement from the Supreme Court marks a pivotal moment for the fight to ensure every unborn child is welcomed and protected under the law,” she said.

“The most important commitment that President Trump has made to the pro-life movement has been his promise to nominate only pro-life judges to the Supreme Court, a commitment he honored by swiftly nominating Judge Neil Gorsuch. SBA List was proud to take the lead in rallying pro-life grassroots support for Gorsuch, and we were thrilled to see those efforts come to fruition as Justice Gorsuch took his place on the Supreme Court,” she added.

Penny Nance, CEO & President of Concerned Women for America, echoed Dannenfelser, saying that now is the moment conservative women have been waiting for.

“This is the moment conservative women have been waiting for — the chance to return justice and constitutional limits to the nation’s highest court. This is the reason why they voted overwhelmingly for Donald J. Trump over Hillary Clinton,” she said.

“We want a Supreme Court that rejects the subjective ‘living, breathing’ constitutional philosophy which judicial activist have used to force liberal political policies on the country under the guise of law. It is time for a Supreme Court that returns power to ‘We the People.'”

Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund (TPPCF) Chairman Jenny Beth Martin said that Trump came through on Neil Gorsuch and will not disappoint in the upcoming appointment.

“President Trump has done it once, and he will do it again by appointing another great justice to the high court. Each of the people on the President’s list of potential Supreme Court nominees is highly qualified, with a record of fairly applying the law and adhering to the Constitution as it was originally written and ratified,” he said.

“The American people have made clear their preference for judges who apply the law, rather than making up new law from the bench. This is an historic moment for President Trump and the Senate to work together to put another great justice on the bench,” he added.

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2 comments on “Justice Anthony Kennedy announces retirement, gives Trump second Supreme Court pick

  1. Justice Kennedy was supposed to be conservative, but he betrayed America on life and marriage

    Doug Mainwaring

    WASHINGTON DC, June 27, 2018, (LifeSiteNews) – Yesterday was the third anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision, striking down state marriage laws on the basis of constitutional discrimination, effectively legalizing same-sex “marriage” across the land.

    Marriage activists, as well as a few ex-gays — myself included — stood outside the court to publicly speak out about that tragic ruling. I singled out only one justice in my remarks: Anthony Kennedy.

    Kennedy was the swing vote in the Obergefell decision, allowing the peculiar notion of same-sex “marriage” to skate through on the thinnest of margins: 5-4.

    Had he voted the other way, the attacks on religious freedom which have become commonplace today would most likely not be so vicious. Kennedy’s opinion unleashed the LGBT world to vent its vitriolic anger against those who disagree with them. And the toll on the soul of this country over the last three years has been saddening, demoralizing, divisive.

    Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cake Shop would not have had to defend his decision to decline to bake a cake for a gay couple all the way back to the Supreme Court. Nor would florist Barronelle Stutzman, whose fate still hangs in the balance after declining to arrange flowers for a gay couple. Nor would countless other florists, bakers, photographers, videographers, tee shirt makers and even orchard owners.

    Overnight, Kennedy’s vote in favor of ‘gay marriage’ turned good citizens into targets; It turned law-abiding people who strive to live according to their faith and to their conscience into criminals, often savaged by mainstream media.

    As a same-sex attracted man who also strives to live according to my Catholic faith, I stood in front of the Supreme Court yesterday and declared Kennedy’s majority opinion in the Obergefell case was “flat out wrong.”

    Although appointed by a Republican President — Ronald Reagan — Kennedy surprisingly went with the far-left on important decisions regarding the social issues, producing the net effect of unraveling the social fabric of our nation, while coarsening popular culture against Christians. Kennedy was never really a Conservative; he is a Libertarian.

    He was reliably conservative on issues dealing with the size and reach of government, but Kennedy made radical departures from conservative thought––and more importantly, his Catholic faith––when it came to the most consequential of matters put before the court: Abortion, and LGBT ‘rights.’

    In Lawrence v. Texas (2003), Kennedy was instrumental in striking down the Lone Star State’s law against sodomy, which effectively neutered similar laws in other states. While this seemed to many like nothing more than disposing of an antiquated law, the reality is that this was the first of several steps––leaps––toward the establishment of same-sex marriage and the simultaneous erosion of religious liberty.

    As if to prove Kennedy’s bona fides, Libertarian Reason.com noted:

    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. In Romer v. Evans (1996), Kennedy led the Court in overturning a Colorado constitutional amendment that barred state officials from taking any action designed to protect gays from discrimination. In Lawrence v. Texas (2003), Kennedy led the Court in overturning that state’s ban on “homosexual conduct.” In United States v. Windsor (2013), Kennedy led the Court in invalidating a central part of the Defense of Marriage Act. Finally, in Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), he led the Court in recognizing a constitutional right to gay marriage.

    Kennedy also vigorously defended the underlying validity of the court’s tragic 1973 Roe v. Wade decision throughout his career on the bench.

    In Planned Parenthood v Casey (1992), Kennedy was part of a 5-4 majority, which wrote, “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.” A more galling declaration of moral relativism has never been authored by the nation’s highest court.

    Moments after the Supreme Court issued Kennedy’s retirement announcement, Judge Andrew Napolitano said, “The key issue will be abortion. Even though Justice Kennedy is Roman Catholic, and was appointed by Ronald Reagan, he has consistently sided with the liberals on abortion.”

    “If President Trump nominates a pro-life nominee, you will see a titanic battle in the Senate and throughout the country, because that will create a pro-life majority on the Supreme Court.”

    After Kennedy let it be known he is stepping down, National Review noted, “Kennedy’s retirement, effective July 31, will set up a high-stakes political battle over his replacement’s nomination.”

    And with good reason. If President Trump, with the help of the U.S. Senate, successfully installs another nominee in the mold of Justice Gorsuch, the complexion of our highest court will change considerably.

    It’s conceivable that Roe v Wade could be overturned. Obergefell v. Hodges could also be overturned. And religious liberty might yet again flourish in our land.

  2. Liberals freak out over Kennedy retirement: ‘abortion access, same-sex marriage…on the line now’

    Calvin Freiburger

    WASHINGTON, D.C., June 27, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Wednesday’s sudden news of Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement from the US Supreme Court provoked near-instantaneous responses of fear and anger from Democrat officeholders, left-wing commentators, and pro-abortion activists.

    Kennedy announced he was resigning earlier today, in a brief letter to President Donald Trump. As a notorious swing vote who helped preserve abortion-on-demand and impose same-sex “marriage” (despite also writing some more conservative decisions on side aspects to both issues), Kennedy’s departure has energized social conservatives. They are hopeful that Trump’s nominee to replace him will not only be a reliable originalist, but provide the long-awaited fifth vote for overturning Roe v. Wade.

    Liberal observers dread the news for the exact same reason. “Oh my God,” Democrats on Capitol Hill and in the Democratic National Committee reportedly exclaimed as soon as they heard the news.

    “With Kennedy retiring, the right to access abortion in this country is on the line,” the Planned Parenthood Action Fund declared. It followed up by noting that Trump “promised to overturn Roe v. Wade, and his lower court nominees are making this nightmare a reality.”

    “[A] woman’s constitutional right to access legal abortion is in dire, immediate danger—along with the fundamental rights of all Americans,” NARAL President Ilyse Hogue said. She called the possibility of Roe’s overturn—which would not immediately ban abortion, but merely restore the freedom of individual states to vote on it for themselves—a “moment of deep crisis” for the country.

    “Our reproductive rights are at risk. Elections MATTER,” announced EMILY’s List, a group dedicated exclusively to electing female Democrat candidates. “We need to take back the Senate with pro-choice Democratic women who will defend our rights.”

    “Our Republican colleagues in the Senate should follow the rule they set in 2016 not to consider a Supreme Court justice in an election year,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said, referencing Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell’s refusal to schedule a vote on Barack Obama’s nominee for the vacancy Neil Gorsuch eventually filled. “Millions of people are just months away from determining the senators who should vote to confirm or reject the President’s nominee.”

    “There is no way politically the Democratic base will stand for any kind of hearings or vote for a Trump nominee before the election. We’ve got an election in four and half months,” MSNBC’s Chris Matthews declared. “If they allow Trump to fill the Supreme Court with another conservative who will not share Justice Anthony Kennedy’s views on social issues like marriage equality,” they “will have hell to pay.”

    Reactions were even more unhinged across social media, as compiled by Twitchy and The Daily Caller, with a consensus emerging that Trump’s impending replacement constitutes a “crisis.”

    “F***. You. Justice. Kennedy,” ThinkProgress “justice editor” Ian Millhiser tweeted. “Trump’s Supreme Court will have their own version of the Dred Scott decision,” Salon’s Chauncey Devega added.

    “All civil and human rights are at stake,” left-wing activist and former Democrat candidate Rev. Al Sharpton claimed, while Daily Beast writer Thor Benson claimed that as a “member of the LGBTQ community, Justice Kennedy being replaced threatens my rights,” along with “the rights of minorities, women and Muslims.”

    New Yorker writer and CNN analyst Jeffrey Toobin predicted that “[a]bortion will be illegal in twenty states in 18 months,” while Marisa Kabas of the mobile news/activism platform HOPE said she was “scared and nauseous.”

    Legal analyst Andrew Cohen agreed that “abortion rights are more imperiled now than at any time since Roe v. Wade,” while also expecting a “rollback of gay rights.” Journalist Molly Knight sarcastically thanked Kennedy for “pour[ing] kerosene on the current dumpster fire that is America. The Roe v Wade riots should provide fine entertainment for him in his retirement.”

    “Justice Kennedy’s retirement is a catastrophe for liberals,” Slate writer Mark Joseph Stern summarized. “Abortion access, same-sex marriage, voting rights, environmental regulations—they’re all on the line now.”

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