Those who are progressive in their beliefs need to find it in their hearts to pray.
Pray that Justice Anthony Kennedy doesn't walk out in front of a bus, or have the "big one" anytime soon. He recently addressed that big circus known as the American Bar Assoc. annual convention. This year it was held in Hawaii. Wonder how many lawyers chose the beach over some boring panel discussion? But I digress..back to our Justice with the mostest.
Justice Kennedy is well aware that his place on the court has evolved since Sandra O'Connor left to live what is left of her life. He is now the pivot man. The one that has to be convinced. The swing voter as it were. He holds the keys to the kingdom and he damn well knows it.
Kennedy was the man when it came to Hamdan vs. Rumsfeld. He was the man with regards to decriminalizing gay sexual activities, and he helped strike down the death penalty for children and the mentally-ill. He also wrote the decision that prohibited secular prayer at a school graduation ceremony. His biggest coup for me, was this terms biggest environmental case which, if the rightwingers on the court had their way..they would of once again removed the teeth of environnmental protection. They did not get their way that day. Thanks Anthony Kennedy.
These decisions do not endear him with the folks that lean to the right, both on the court,public opinion and in the government. But it must be mentioned that he also goes with the majority when he doesn't have the trump card ...which in the case of this court means right of the center more times than naught.
But he is the voice of moderation and he relishes that voice it seems. I can live with moderation. It beats the shit out of radical any day when it comes to the rule of law. There are some excellent articles about Justice Kennedy up on Slate by their legal correspondant Dahlia Lithwick. This one explores his new-found position on the court. This one delivers an assessment of his address to the lawyers "liquor and suntan blowout" known as the ABA convention.
I haven't had time to peruse the following gems, but they are the End of Term Analysis of the decisions handed down by this years Supreme's. Georgetown University's Law School has an excellent writeup here. Scotusblog, my favorite, has their analysis here.
I know, I have linked to far too many boring legal mumbo jumbo writeups.
Thats because the way things are going in the executive and legislative branches..the only thing we can hope for is either voting the bastards out or, if that fails, that Justice Kennedy stays healthy and moderate for a while..at least two more years. He isn't perfect, but he is all we have at this point.