This is great news. Justice Anthony Kennedy has announced his retirement, opening an opportunity for President Trump to nominate another Supreme Court Justice after Neil Gorsuch. There is reason to hope that, as in the case of Gorsuch, the appointee will be a credible interpret of the law, not a judicial activist. But while Gorsuch replaced another good lawyer, this is now the opportunity to replace a bad lawyer through a good one.
This might end a dark era of the US Supreme Court, in which far too often judicial activism has prevailed over sound legal work. Even a reversal of Roe v. Wade, which fabricated a constitutional “right to abortion”, or Obergefell v. Hodges, which obliged states to recognize sodo-“marriage”, might be on the cards.
Whatever one might critically say about the Republicans, it remains a fact that promoting their social agenda through the appointment of ideologically bent, radically activist judges has been a strategy that in the past was exclusively used by the political left, i.e. the Democrats, with judges like Ruth Bader Ginsberg (a former ACLU activist!) or Sonia Sotomayor being their prototypical appointees.
The case of Anthony Kennedy himself is interesting. Appointed under the Reagan Presidency, he was in fact renowned as a maverick and swing voter – but it was he who cast the decisive vote in all cases involving the promotion of sodomy and the deconstruction of marriage. He was also the author of the infamous Obergefell v. Hodges decision, which made sodo-“marriage” compulsory in all US States, prompting one of his colleagues to aptly compare Kennedy’s judicial reasoning with “the mystical aphorisms of a fortune cookie”. Kennedy owed his nomination to the fact that President Reagan’s original nominee, Robert Bork, became the victim of an until then unprecedented, vitriolic hate campaign orchestrated by leftist politicians and media, which caused him to withdraw his candidature (the expression “to bork someone” has since theen become a widely used expression, and Democrats have later on tried to “bork” also other candidates for the higher rnks of the judiciary…). Had this not happened, there would have been no Lawrence v. Texas, no Windsor v. USA, no Obergefell. The vicious ad-personam campaigning against Bork, a classical Alinsky tactic, paid off well for the Dems.
We need no conservative ideologues to replace activists like Kennedy. It suffices that the successors be seious-minded lawyers.