That headline is not a misprint or slip: as the swing vote on a Court that has long divided 5 – 4 on key questions, Justice Anthony Kennedy has been effectively the “Chief Justice” of the Supreme Court for a long time. Lawyers who practice at the Supreme Court will tell you that case briefs and pleadings have long been written for an intended audience of one: Justice Kennedy.
Here is his resignation letter transmitted to President Trump:
My observation the last couple weeks is that the cases that have come out recently have been nearly a clean sweep for the right, unlike previous years where case results were a mixed bag. The fact that Kennedy was aligning himself with the solid conservatives on just about every key case late in this term was the sign to me that he was content to step off the Court after 30 years, content that he is happy with the Court’s current center of gravity. In particular his very recent comments about how the time has come to reconsider “Chevron deference” indicated to me that at the last, Kennedy’s conservative side was re-emerging. No one on the left could have been happy with Justice Kennedy’s jurisprudence in recent months.
Get ready for World War III on Capitol Hill as confirmation hearings are held this summer for Kennedy’s replacement. I predict protests and disruptions in the committee hearing room will be attempted. But I also think that just as the vacant Scalia seat energized conservative voters for Trump in 2016, the confirmation of a replacement for Kennedy will further energize the Democratic base for the mid-term election in November, even if a new Justice is confirmed (as I expect he or she will be). It will also put intense pressure on red state Democratic senators fighting tough races for re-election (McCaskill, Donnelly, Tester, Manchin, etc).
Meanwhile, a quick perusal or Twitter shows the left is in total freakout mode:
This guy is apparently a “comedian” with Comedy Central:
Sen. McConnell has decided to trigger the left:
This Tweet didn’t age well:
Mitch McConnell in 2013 warning Harry Reid that Democrats would regret getting rid of the filibuster for judges:
This is what I call winning.