US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announces retirement

29 June, 2018, 14:43 | Author: Grady King
  • Protesters gather at a rally in Washington on Oct. 17 2017. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS  Manuel Balce Ceneta

President Donald Trump is expected to nominate a more conservative replacement, giving the right a five-four majority.

A traditional conservative, he advanced gay rights, reinforced abortion rights and erased political spending limits.

He sided with the court's four liberal justices on same-sex marriage: He wrote several rulings expanding marriage rights, including the 2015 decision that legalized same-sex marriage throughout the country.

Republicans refused to hold a hearing on President Barack Obama's nominee to replace Justice Antonin Scalia after the conservative stalwart died suddenly in February 2016, insisting that the seat should remain vacant until voters chose a new president that November, almost nine months later - an unprecedented move.

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In a statement, ICNA Council for Social Justice, an Islamic social justice and human rights organization, said that it was not the first time that the court had allowed official racism and xenophobia to continue rather than standing up to it.

CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin had a grim response Wednesday to the news that Justice Anthony Kennedy will be retiring this summer: "Roe v. Wade is doomed".

Republicans, with a 51-49 advantage in the Senate, are planning to move ahead.

A US-based Muslim group on Wednesday criticized the Supreme Court's (SC) decision to uphold a travel ban on Muslims to enter the USA by President Trump, saying it was launching a new campaign to garner support for a proposed resolution which recognizes American Muslims' contribution to the nation.

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Kennedy called it the "highest of honors to serve on this Court", and he expressed his "profound gratitude for having had the privilege to seek in each case how best to know, interpret, and defend the Constitution and the laws that must always conform to its mandates and promises". But so far they have shown zero interest in any sort of delay in getting a second Trump justice onto the bench, with McConnell planning confirmation hearings in August and a Senate debate and vote as soon as possible thereafter. If the Senate divides 50-50, Vice President Mike Pence could break a tie to confirm the nominee.

Michael Waldman, president of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, said Kennedy's role as the deciding votes in big cases means this confirmation fight will be more consequential than any in decades.

So if a new justice is in fact confirmed in September or October, will the saga actually affect voting in November?

Kennedy's vote, positioned at the very centre of the court, gives him a place of special prominence among the nine justices.

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