Anthony Kennedy: Supreme Enigma

Born today was Anthony Kennedy,
The swing vote on our highest court.
For some a paean, for others a threnody,
A middle of the road,  and a  fence-straddling sort.*

*Whether the issue is abortion, race or gay rights, Kennedy is the man in the middle on the Supreme Court, more often bridging the gap between the political right and left than any other justice. It's not a role he seeks out; it's just where he winds up."  [Richard Wolf, USA Today]

 

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  • The strange thing is that until we got to Scalia and "I usually agree with Scalia" Thomas, Justices appointed by Republicans usually ended up in the middle. Sandra Day O'Connor also ended up there, and much to Dennis Byrne's chagrin, wrote most of the abortion decisions (it being acknowledged in the legal community that Planned Parenthood v. Casey superseded Roe v. Wade, and the opinions upholding the current version of parental notification).

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