Wow, what a week at our highest court. SCOTUS made some excellent rulings earlier this week. Three weeks ago I wrote about the SCOTUS Cake Shop Decision, so it seems we are on a roll here.
It started Tuesday when the Supreme Court upheld Trump’s travel ban in Trump Vs. Hawaii. In December of 2017 the court had voted to allow a temporary implementation of the travel ban. This ban targeted 5 Muslim majority countries and also North Korea and Venezuela. This ruling was to be effective until a final hearing could be held. As I said, this hearing was held Tuesday. It affirmed that Trump had not exceeded his executive powers with the travel ban and that the ban did not have any religious hostility in it’s text.
All this was self-evident to those of us not blinded by Trump hatred, but nevertheless I’m happy for the victory.
On Wednesday, only a day after this ruling, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 against public unions forcing dues on non-members. This was in the case of Janus Vs. American Federation Of State, County, and Municipal Employees. Janus argued that paying the dues violated his first amendment rights, since his dues were used for political and ideological advancements. This was another great victory for liberty, justice and common sense. The dissenters were Elena Kagan, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, and Sonia Sotomayor—pretty much a split along ideological lines.
That brings me to the best news of all: the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy. He had voted with the majority in the two cases mentioned above—a parting gift perhaps, after a spotty record.
He was a Reagan appointee, affirmed in 1988. Considered a libertarian by some, he found himself ruling on the liberal side of several pivotal social issues throughout his career.
In 1992 he had an opportunity to overturn Roe Vs. Wade in a case called Planned Parenthood Vs. Casey. He did not do it.
Then began a list of rulings—in which he was the deciding factor—in favor of the LGBT community. In 1996 he wrote a decision overruling an amendment in Colorado’s constitution which barred homosexuals from civil rights protections. 2003 he wrote another ruling which voided state anti-sodomy laws. Ten years later, in 2013 he helped overturn fundamental portions of the Defense Of Marriage Act. Two years later this trend reached full maturity as he—once more the deciding factor—helped hand down a ban on anti-gay marriage laws nation wide.
These are the some of the reasons I, among other conservatives, thought he was nothing more than a gift to the progressive agenda. Sure he handed down some good rulings, but when it came to some of the most important decisions, he would join liberals in reshaping America and defining the constitution outside of its original intent.
Donald Trump now has a great opportunity to put forth a justice along the lines of Gorsuch or Scalia, which means opportunities that haven’t been available before in my lifetime. It would be ironic but perhaps fitting, if the very justice to replace Kennedy would be the one to reverse so much of the damage he has done. Time will tell.