How dare an 81-year-old man retire from the Supreme Court? How dare he?
That, in a nutshell, seems to be the widespread reaction among many liberals to the announcement that Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy will step down from the bench next month.
“Anthony Kennedy Just Destroyed His Legacy as a Gay Rights Hero,” announced a headline at Slate. Twitter, that great Hieronymus Bosch painting of our collective id, was aflame in what can only be described as full-on liberal panic. “The future of our democracy is at stake,” proclaimed House minority leader Nancy Pelosi.
This gnashing of teeth and rending of cloth is a symptom of the dysfunction and corruption of the constitutional order. The reason Kennedy’s retirement matters so much is that he was the swing vote — the justice who could bequeath victory or defeat to the liberal or conservative bloc in any important case that divided the court.
And the reason the swing vote matters so much is that we’ve made the Supreme Court far too important in our lives. By being the deciding vote on so many issues, Kennedy in effect became the court itself, making him the de facto incarnation of the judicial branch, the way the president is the physical personification of the executive branch. This became all the more problematic because Kennedy’s philosophy of judicial review all too often took the form of a deep personal inventory of his feelings rather than of Constitution’s text.
Thus, Kennedy’s decision not to live forever — or at least until a Democratic appointee could replace the Reagan-appointed justice — was seen as a personal betrayal, because the political has become so personal for so many.
“I never thought I’d say this, but you’re only 81!” late-night comedian Stephen Colbert exclaimed. “You know what they say: They say 81 is the new 79! And don’t tell me your mind’s going, because I’ve read Bush v. Gore and Citizens United; you never had one!”
A Comedy Central writer tweeted (and later deleted) that he wished “this Kennedy had been shot instead of the other ones.” To think such things, never mind to state them publicly, can be seen as a symptom of deranged mental health, but also of a deformed civic health.
How did we get here? Two tracks converged to deliver us this dysfunction. The first is narrowly political. The Democrats, confident that they were on the right side of history, thought there was no harm in accelerating the rush to total victory. For years, Democrats practiced the rule that all is fair in judicial-confirmation battles, starting with the war on Judge Robert Bork in 1987. Then, under the leadership of Barack Obama and then–Senate majority leader Harry Reid, they did away with the filibuster on judicial appointments short of the Supreme Court, opening the door for Republicans to nudge it slightly more wide open.
Let this be a lesson to anyone willing to do a favor for liberals; to them, it’s always “What have you done for me lately?”
The future of liberal misgovernance and disregard for the Constitution and rule of law is at SERIOUS risk.
This is a common socialist mindset; when someone displeases the socialist elite, then someone should suffer… probably die. So, we see a LOT of violent liberal rhetoric.
In the liberal way of thinking, the 1st Amendment exists only to allow liberals to say and lie anything that serves the liberal agenda.
Unions are an important source of Democrat campaign funds using money they wrest from the hands of working people whether they want to support them or not. The left will use even the Supreme Court to keep the money flowing. The same goes for Planned Parenthood, which takes money from taxpayers to finance their abortion mills and which Planned Parenthood redistributes to Democrat candidates.
Like Obama regarded the Office of the Presidency, as his own personal political weapon, so do reactionary liberals regard the Supreme Court, as a means to ignore the Constitutional means of making law. The 5-4 vote on the travel ban, while a victory, was an absolute embarrassment.
First thing they were lamenting is they are going to lose the right to separate themselves from their children. OMG Roe v Wade. This law has women taught to be feminists on a treadmill since its passing, there are no other rights women need no other advancement, just keep riding the liberal merry-go-round after that issue and that issue only. They are going to undo that, take that away from you boogey man.
But a law that would protect women with highly physical jobs, while they are in late term pregnancy, say at 8 months they are limited to a 25 lb lifting maximum ect, no more than 2 hours on their feet without a 10 minute break, they dont care they dont fight for women, they only can fight to murder the unborn.
Nobody who wants to change The Constitution should be in charge of defending it.
The ‘Living, breathing document’ argument just means they don’t like The Constitution.
The job as written requires Constitutional Conservatives – SC Justices that are true to their oath – not progressive liars.
I believe MAGA requires this.
The Good news is that it looks like we are getting there….
@Bill589: The GREAT news is that Hillary never got the opportunity to finish turning the Supreme Court into an instrument of those seeking the death of the Constitution.
The only kind of judge liberals want is a liberal activists judge like the 9th Circus Court consists of ones who will force you to allow a bunch of squaters on your land or cut off your water over some dumb worthless fish like the Snail Darter or Delta Smelt