It appears that the Justices of the US Supreme Court give a kind of solemn reception to their employees every 5 years in office : 5, 10, 15, and so on. You will be pleased to know that Justice Kennedy, who also follows the custom, has just given such a reception, for year… 29.
Does this mean he is planning to announce his imminent retirement? That would be very good news.
Kennedy, who will be 81 years old next month, was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Reagan in 1987. His nomination came after Reagan’s first pick, Robert Bork, was rejected by the Senate following an (until then quite unprecedented) defamation campaign by “liberal” activists. He was the maverick of the Supreme Court, often siding with his more conservative colleagues – but ultra-radical to the point of being lunatic on the particular issue of “gay rights”. He wrote the Court’s opinion in the 1996 case Romer v. Evans, invalidating a provision in the Colorado Constitution denying homosexuals the right to bring local discrimination claims. In 2003, he wrote the Court’s opinion in Lawrence v. Texas, which invalidated criminal laws against homosexual sodomy on the basis of the Due Process Clause of the United States Constitution, overturning the Court’s previous ruling in 1986’s Bowers v. Hardwick. In 2013 and 2015, finally, he became the author of the two narrow 5-4 decisions United States v. Windsor and Obergefell v. Hodges, which throgh one of the most reckless acts of judicial activism in recorded history imposed the legal recognition of sodo-“marriage” on the United States.
While his prose in Obergefell was criticized mostly for its apparent lack of meaning, in Windsor he based his argument essentially on a vicious ad hominem attack against all those who, like the authors of the federal statute he struck down, consider – in line with the unanimous history of all cultures and civilizations until then – that marriage has the purpose of protecting the natural family. He wrote that the law that had been enacted to protect marriage against arbitrary re-definition expressed a “bare desire to harm” sodomites, and was “motivated by malice” against them.
A judge who throws aside all legal reasoning and insteads builds his decision on this kind of personal attacks is both inept for, and unworthy of, his function.
It would therefore be a good development if Kennedy departed earlier rather than later, giving President Trump a chance to renew the Court.
Another sign of hope is that the Supreme Court, in a 9-0 decision that was supported even by all liberal Justices, accepted the Federal Government’s application to review the controversial court decisions that had prevented President Trump’s Anti-Immigration Order from becoming effective. It is not that we believe this order to be a legislative masterpiece – but the truth is that the court decisions that halted them, all issued (exclusively) by judges appointed by Democrat Presidents, were entirely build on the same kind of ad hominem reasoning that had been used by Justice Kennedy in the Windsor case: The President is a bad guy, so his decrees must be invalidated. At a time when polarization in the US is so strong as to become outright dangerous for the continued existence of the country, it is essential to relinquish this kind of activism and return to the rule of law.