(RepublicanInformer.com)- Former conservative Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy said only shortly after his retirement announcement in 2018 that he wasn’t worried about some of the major precedents he helped to establish would be overturned in future courts.
Kennedy, who often sat in the “center” of the high court ideologically, was a part of major decisions that either established or cemented rights for the LGBT community and abortion.
Following the announcement of his retirement, reporters asked him whether those rights would be in jeopardy in the future. He responded by saying that he was confident that since these constitutional rights were now established, they would continue to remain.
Now, four years later, the largely conservative current Supreme Court is proving that his sentiments were wrong.
In a recent piece she wrote for NPR, legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg wrote of this subject:
“There is simply on way to overstate what the Supreme Court did this term. No journalist or scholar alive can remember a term with so many earthquakes in the law.”
Totenberg wasn’t just making broad statements, either. She backed it up with statistics that were compiled by two professors — the University of Michigan’s Keven Quinn and Washington University’s Lee Epstein.
The data showed that in just this term of the Supreme Court, there were more conservative decisions than at any other term since back in 1931. Of all the decisions, 62% ended in conservative rulings. And many of those decisions were quite impactful, too.
In just a few short months, the dreams of many ultra-conservatives were fulfilled, while at the same time the nightmare for many moderates and liberals played out right in front of their eyes.
Tom Goldstein, who publishes the SCOTUSblog, commented on this for NPR.
In jest, he said that the last few months were not really a nightmare for moderates and liberals “because you wake up from a nightmare and it’s over at some point.”
He continued by saying that the ultimate problem for moderates and liberals in America is that “they are stuck with” the current composition of the court “for the next quarter century. And you have a conservative majority that is … moving the goal posts … on every conceivable issue that you can imagine.”
Some of the biggest decisions include overturning precedent set nearly 50 years ago with Roe v. Wade, and making it more difficult for states to regulate guns. The Supreme Court also curbed the ability of government agencies such as the EPA to rectify climate change.
And the court also blurred the lines between the separation of church and state in two cases that dealt with religious liberty.
As Totenberg wrote in her piece for NPR, it’s “a court without a center.” Chief Justice John Roberts used to be that moderate voice. Despite being a conservative, he’s a more moderate one and has often sought to seek compromise between the two polarizing sides.
But, Roberts’ voice is being silenced now, slowly but surely, by the five other conservative justices on the high court, who can win any decision they want if they just continue to band together.