Justice Kennedy isn't retiring just yet

Justice Kennedy isn't retiring just yet

The 80-year-old justice, who has often provided the swing vote on cases dealing with subjects like abortion and gay rights, had been rumored for months to be considering retirement, and many reported Justice Kennedy would announce his pending retirement on Monday during the court's last public session prior to its long summer break, as has been the tradition with many justices.

Gorsuch probably will continue to vote frequently with Thomas, said Leah Litman, who teaches at the University of California, Irvine, School of Law. Gorsuch's answers left some wondering whether he would be a justice in the mold of the man he was replacing - the late Justice Antonin Scalia - or an ideological wild card. "I'm not surprised at all that Neil Gorsuch is right in there with Thomas and Alito, wanting to pretty much tell the president, 'You just go right ahead, impose a Muslim ban'". Though he leans conservative, he's sided with liberals in some major cases, including Obergefell v. Hodges, which legalized gay marriage in the USA in 2015. Rather, it is reminiscent of other baby-splitting decisions by the Roberts court in politically tricky cases, and it is hard to see what it portends either in the weeks ahead or after the court hears arguments this fall.

Liberal groups and Democratic senators had vociferously opposed Gorsuch's appointment, with the evidence so far suggesting their depiction of him as a dogged conservative was largely correct.

The justices cited the 2015 case written by Kennedy upholding the right of same-sex couples to marry, noting the state court's support of the law "denied married same-sex couples access to the "constellation of benefits" " linked to marriage.

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Conservatives, meanwhile, are delighted. It appears Gorsuch is eager to strike down nearly any law that limits the right "to keep and bear arms" in any way. "But again, I don't want this tied to Justice Kennedy or any other one member because these are lifetime appointments".

The new justice, formerly an appeals court judge in Colorado, was sworn in on April 10 after Democrats made a concerted effort to block his confirmation by the Republican-controlled US Senate. Thomas and Gorsuch dissented vociferously, essentially declaring that the Second Amendment grants individuals a right to carry loaded firearms in public.

She said Gorsuch stuck to the letter of the law in his first majority opinion, which his colleagues joined unanimously, ruling that regulations for debt collectors under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act don't extend to companies that purchase debts. He wrote the court's opinion in Citizens United v.

In the cases where the court has been divided, he has reliably stuck with the conservative wing while showing something of an independent streak similar to Thomas.

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The court also agreed to hear a case on Trump's travel ban and lifted an injunction against it. Kennedy might see the need to help shepherd in a resolution to the complicated case concerning the role of the executive when the court hears the full case this fall.

Wydra speculated that a Supreme Court replacement chosen by the Trump administration will probably move judgments in favor of more conservative political agendas. If it is still Kennedy's court on the first Monday in October, progressive cases and causes (at least some of them, anyway) will have a chance.

"The Second Amendment's core objective further supports the conclusion that the right to bear arms extends to public carry", Thomas wrote.

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court partially reinstated the Trump ban on Monday, determining that the president isn't violating American constitutional rights by telling people from terror hotbeds they can't come to the USA without good reason.

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