Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy delivers remarks before administering the judicial oath to Judge Neil Gorsuch during a ceremony in the Rose Garden at the White House April 10, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Handing Trump Chance to Move Supreme Court Even Further Right, Justice Anthony Kennedy Retires

"Right now, our right to choose is hanging in the balance. Another Trump Supreme Court nominee would overturn Roe v. Wade."

Jake Johnson

After a series of rulings just this week demonstrated how much damage a conservative majority on the Supreme Court can do to the rights of workers, women, and immigrants, Justice Anthony Kennedy announced on Wednesday that he is retiring, handing President Donald Trump a golden opportunity to push the nation's highest court even further to the right.

"With Justice Kennedy's retirement, Chuck Schumer and other Democrats will have to demonstrate a different level of political courage. It is not a time to play nice."
—Eddie Glaude

"This is not a drill," NARAL Pro-Choice America declared on Twitter following Kennedy's announcement, highlighting the fact that Trump's second Supreme Court pick will give conservatives the power to go after Roe v. Wade, which affirms the constitutional right to abortion.

"Trump and his anti-choice allies have already stolen one [Supreme Court] seat, and we've seen the devastating effects on our rights already," NARAL added. "Now, he'll get the chance to steal another."

While Kennedy was a conservative who had a hand in the court's most recent appalling rulings, he provided a crucial swing vote for the liberal side on issues like same-sex marriage and abortion access. Trump will now have an opportunity to replace that swing vote with one of the dozens of extremist, anti-choice judges he already has lined up.

"Time to get to work," Topher Spiro, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, wrote on Wednesday. "Roe v. Wade is in great peril. So are pre-existing condition protections and gay rights."

With Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) already aiming to confirm Kennedy's successor "this fall," activists are pressuring Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to deploy the same hard-ball tactics McConnell used to steal a Supreme Court nominee from former President Barack Obama.

"With Justice Kennedy's retirement, Chuck Schumer and other Democrats will have to demonstrate a different level of political courage," concluded Princeton University professor Eddie Glaude. "It is not a time to play nice."

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

On Eve of Key Fight, Sanders Asks: 'Will Manchin and Sinema Vote With GOP?'

"We are not going to win the elections in 2022 unless our base is energized and ordinary people understand what we are fighting for, and how we are different than the Republicans."

Jake Johnson ·

UN Chief Urges Global Solidarity on Covid, Climate, and Debt Relief

"The last two years have demonstrated a simple but brutal truth, if we leave anyone behind, in the end, we leave everyone behind," said the secretary-general at the opening of the virtual Davos summit.

Jessica Corbett ·

Sinema's MLK Day Tweet Sparks Online Fury

One group criticized the Democratic senator from Arizona as "the white moderate MLK warned us about."

Andrea Germanos ·

Why Did Democratic AG Kill Flint Water RICO Case?

"Political corruption poisoned Flint and political corruption shielded the wrongdoers from accountability," said one critic following new revelations.

Kenny Stancil ·

Progressives Counter Cherry-Picked Quotes With MLK's True Legacy

Calling out those who have "weaponized" his words "to justify legislated white supremacy," Rep. Ayanna Pressley said King "was a radical dreamer with a bold vision for revolutionary change."

Jessica Corbett ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.

Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo