As of June 27, 2018, Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement. While he won’t officially retire until July 31, the impact he has left on the country will be the same. Justice Kennedy has given President Donald J. Trump a second opportunity to mold the supreme court.
With Kennedy, the ratio of Republican to Democrat justices has been 5:4; however, he was a swing vote and has been the deciding factor and support for many liberal movements, such as LGBTQ rights and abortion. With Kennedy gone, Trump has all the power to bring in a nominee that is significantly more conservative, making it nearly impossible for liberals to get a motion passed through the highest court in the land.
Some may think: what exactly is the big deal? After all, the ratio will remain 5:4 and everything will proceed in the same fashion. However, if there is something or someone that could show us the impact of a single vote, it’s Donald Trump’s first nominee, Neil Gorsuch. In the past few months of his term, Gorsuch has already managed to influence policies, most notably Trump’s infamous travel ban. And Kennedy’s replacement won’t only sway the current policies up for debate in the conservative favor, but will also have an impact on laws that have been in place for years, such as the Roe V. Wade decision and the right for people of all genders and sexualities to get married.
It is an understatement to say that the retirement of Justice Kennedy has given Trump, his administration and the Republican party a lot of power. Trump’s decision will shape the country and its judicial system for many years to come.
Photo: Anthony Garand