Meet Anthony Kennedy

With the departure of Sandra Day O’Connor, Kennedy becomes one of the most important people in American politics, and will remain so for the indefinite future. Because even if the best case scenario happens– Obama is elected president, the likely next two justices to retire or die are Stevens and Ginsburg, two staunch liberals — Kennedy will still remain the deciding vote in most cases.  Bush was able to tip the court more conservative, by replacing swing vote O’Connor with a conservative, but fortunately he wasn’t able to do any more damage.  God forbid if McCain gets elected, because if he gets the chance to appoint any justices, our democracy may completely erode.  Alito, Scalia, and Roberts have proven themselves committed to eliminating many of the basic tenets of constitutional rights which our founding fathers carefully put in place.

So who is Kennedy? Last week, he was the deciding vote in a case to uphold habeas corpus for political prisoners in Guantanamo Bay. During the same week, he was also the deciding vote allowing handguns to be owned by private citizens in Washington D.C.. I’m OK with both these rulings.

I was surprised to learn he rules generally in favor of lgbt rights. In 2003, he was part of a 6-3 majority striking down sodomy laws, and in 1996 he was part of another 6-3 decision allowing lgbt people to claim discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

He also generally supports restricting the use of the death penalty.

It’s the right to abortion where I’m most concerned, but not as concerned as I thought I might be.   In 1992 he was part of the majority in Planned Parenthood v.s. Casey, which reaffirmed much of Roe v. Wade.  But he was also part of the majority opinion in 2007 which upheld the ban on third trimester abortions.

Also, it may sound terrible to say, but anyone else want to start forcefeeding Big Macs to Clarence Thomas, in hopes of inducing an early heart attack?


~ by realsupergirl on July 1, 2008.

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