Understanding Justice Kennedy

March 30, 2012
By

Justice Anthony Kennedy is one of only two justices not from the east coast. Born and raised in California, Kennedy has a streak of western libertarianism, of the sort that Barry Goldwater personified.

That’s why Kennedy is thought of as a “swing” justice, who doesn’t align neatly into one of the east-coast camps.

He voted to uphold Roe v. Wade, but still voted to uphold the ban on partial-birth abortions. He voted for sexual freedom in Lawrence v. Texas, and voted for freedom of  speech in Citizens United.

And he’ll vote for individual liberty by striking down Obamacare.

True? False? Click Replies and discuss.

UPDATE: Reader “anonymous un-RINO” disagrees:

No, Kennedy is not libertarian, and is nothing like Goldwater. He went against the legalization of marijuana in Raich, thus upholding the wasteful and long ago lost “war on drugs”. In Kelo, he let the government steal that woman’s house and property and give it over to one of their private developer buddies. He voted to strike down state legislation on Congressional term limits, even though the Constitution is silent on the matter. He allowed government to seize huge amounts of money from people, in violation of the Constitution’s excessive fines clause, simply because they didn’t declare it at the border. He’s a “law and order” guy, and nearly always sides with the state and against individual liberty in these cases. And he loves international law, and prefers it over the Constitution.

27 Responses to Understanding Justice Kennedy

  1. P. Tillman on March 30, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    “True? False? Click Replies and discuss.”

    What a laugh….you figure the odds of guessing this one correctly are pretty good so why not go all in with the bet….cause even if you’re deaf, dumb and blind and have lived in a cave for the past decade (and metaphorically speaking I think this probably describes you perfectly), you still have the exact same chance of being right.

    Yep, we’re all going to be really impressed down here by your prognostic abilities if you guess correctly, I’ll tell you that. A real genius with a vision of the future that is based on a superior understanding of law, human nature, and politics.

  2. Nepa Neocon on March 30, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    I have no idea. I wish I knew because the suspense is killing me! I am a consumate pessimist, so my guess is that Kennedy will vote with the liberal Justices and uphold Obamacare. I dearly hope that I am dead wrong. Please, God, let me be very, very wrong!

  3. ATTILA on March 30, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    A people usually get the government they deserve.
    If the left is successful in creating their welfare state nirvana,
    it will become ashes in their mouths.

  4. W.C. Varones on March 30, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    Seems like Kennedy is for the Constitution on this one.

    The scary thing is the other 4 justices are for Congress to have totalitarian powers over every American’s personal life.

  5. anonymous un-RINO on March 31, 2012 at 4:35 am

    No, Kennedy is not libertarian, and is nothing like Goldwater. He went against the legalization of marijuana in Raich, thus upholding the wasteful and long ago lost “war on drugs”. In Kelo, he let the government steal that woman’s house and property and give it over to one of their private developer buddies. He voted to strike down state legislation on Congressional term limits, even though the Constitution is silent on the matter. He allowed government to seize huge amounts of money from people, in violation of the Constitution’s excessive fines clause, simply because they didn’t declare it at the border. He’s a “law and order” guy, and nearly always sides with the state and against individual liberty in these cases. And he loves international law, and prefers it over the Constitution.

    He’s a paternalistic statist… completely unlike Barry Goldwater. He knows what’s best, and it’s just a matter of finding some lingo to support what he “knows”.

    No, Mr. Magic 8-Ball is not libertarian. He’s a flitting butterfly, frolicking in the judicial meadow, acting out his whims. That’s the whole point here, and why everybody knows this is such a close call. If this guy was libertarian, or had a “western streak of libertarianism”, we’d all be partying right now. We’re not.

  6. ATTILA on March 31, 2012 at 5:07 am

    If we weren’t living in a world of judicial malfeasance,
    this would be a 9 to zip slam dunk against obammercare.

  7. MikeN on March 31, 2012 at 6:07 am

    Kennedy voted both to overturn Roe and to uphold Roe, in the same case. Casey decision was voted to overturn Roe, then months later, Souter managed to change his mind with a secret opinion.

  8. Sorry, it has to be Mitt on March 31, 2012 at 7:22 am

    Poli – I think you are onto something in the previous post about overturning ObamaCare liberating the Supreme Court to stay to the right. An Obama second term isn’t as tragic if the Supreme Court stays healthy even if Ginsburg does retire.

    Not to be a dead horse, but you have to wonder if Mitt has the GUTS to appoint a Janice Rogers Brown to the Court if he wins the Presidency.

  9. ATTILA on March 31, 2012 at 7:53 am

    Not to be a dead horse, but you have to wonder if Mitt has the GUTS to appoint a Janice Rogers Brown to the Court if he wins the Presidency.

    This guy clements who argued thecase against obammercare woud be a good choice.

  10. Hate gives Wingnuts a hard - on March 31, 2012 at 8:31 am

    “If we weren’t living in a world of judicial malfeasance,
    this would be a 9 to zip slam dunk against obammercare.”

    If you knew anything at all about law, even the smallest possible fact, you’d know that this sentence is exactly the opposite of reality.

    This is a purely political use of the courts and nothing else. But that’s the way Republicans roll….use any possible lever of power to win over your opponents regardless of the consequences to the electorate.

    And to set the record straight, and illustrate the folly in this case, the main contention that the Republican governors have with the Affordable Care Act is with the part that comes from Republicans.

    You see, if they strike that part down, it will mean that they’re saying it is ILLEGAL to require people to buy insurance from private companies (with government subsidies if necessary) but LEGAL to tax them and then give it away for “free”.

    LOL, idiots, if they strike this (Republican) provision down they validate a SINGLE-PAYER system, just what Liberals have always said is the best solution.

  11. ATTILA on March 31, 2012 at 9:13 am

    This is a purely political use of the courts and nothing else . use any possible lever of power to win over your opponents regardless of the consequences to the electorate. insanity gives moonbats a limp dingus

    What inane sophistry. Practically every court ruling impinges on things
    “political” as it is politicians that pass the crap that we must use the courts
    to protect ourselves from. The enviro radicals and every other left wing pressure group have no problem running to the courts to push their agenda, regardless of the consequences to the electorate.
    When it is a left wing cause, you moonbats climb out of the swamps to camp out on the steps of the SCOTUS, FOR POLITICAL REASONS.
    ( liberals always say that a statist sociialistic “solution” is always the best.
    it is hard wired into their genes.)

  12. ATTILA on March 31, 2012 at 9:17 am

    Why don’t you leftist pricks come right out and admit that your “single payer” bullshit is just flat out socialized medicine and be done with it.??
    Stop hiding behind this linquistic sophistry.
    That socialist crap is destroying Europe, and it will destroy us.

  13. berlet98 on March 31, 2012 at 9:47 am

    The Jurists Are Out On Obamacare

    Speculation is ripe on how the United States Supreme Court will rule on the constitutionality of the Preservation of Access to Care for Medicare Beneficiaries and Pension Relief Act of 2010, the ultimate title of what most Americans know as Obamacare.

    Signed by President Barack Hussein Obama on June 25th, 2010 after extensive late-night machinations, bribes, and add-ons, the bill was originally titled the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act by the Democrat Senate. It was apparently changed in view of the fact there were few patient protections in the 2700 page monstrosity.

    Obamacare is not affordable by either patients or the nation but they had to call it something palatable. It’s not known whether any Dems ever read it before they passed it.

    Anyway, nine individuals–six men and three women, (six Roman Catholics, three Jews, no Protestants)–are now empowered to secretly decide the fate of a law which applies to almost everyone in a nation of 313,274,338 souls, comprised of 51% protestants, 25% Catholics, 1.7% Mormons, 1.2% Jews, and 21% of other persuasions including Muslims and atheists.

    Without suggesting that either the personal faith or gender of the justices will dictate their decision, the religion of the justices is cited here in light of the legislation’s already-obvious impact on religious beliefs of Catholics and other Christians and the widespread discussion of a presidential candidate’s religion for the first time since 1960.

    Gender is relevant because the statistical reality is that far more women seek health care than do men and the new law will directly impact the practice of abortion in the country.

    Not all of us are affected by Obamacare, however. It won’t be fully implemented until 2014, by design, long after this year’s election. Millions of “exemptions” have been doled out to favored special interests groups, labor unions etc., which didn’t like the legislation anymore than the rest of us but had the political pull to opt out.

    Federal government employees, including the president, his family, and Congress, are also exempted, a fact which says a great deal about Obamacare, none of it good. . . (Read more at http://www.genelalor.com/blog1/?p=20091.)

  14. Evan3457 on March 31, 2012 at 10:15 am

    If you knew anything at all about law, even the smallest possible fact, you’d know that this sentence is exactly the opposite of reality.

    This is a purely political use of the courts and nothing else. But that’s the way Republicans roll….use any possible lever of power to win over your opponents regardless of the consequences to the electorate.

    100% pure rubbish.

  15. Hate gives Wingnuts a hard - on March 31, 2012 at 11:37 am

    “That socialist crap is destroying Europe, and it will destroy us.”

    Only an ignorant moron would even presume to utter such stupidity when it’s almost certain ALL of your information about “Europe” comes from sources with a political and financial interest in maintaining monopolies on critical industries and services.

    Western Europeans enjoy a standard of living, education and civility that most Americans would love to have here, and would have were it not for morons like you who only have a rudimentary understanding of the issues behind your rabid ideology.

    “Why don’t you leftist pricks come right out and admit that your “single payer” bullshit is just flat out socialized medicine and be done with it.??

    The only reason why anyone would be dissuaded from using this term is because it tends to throw people like you into a tizzy and effectively ends any possibility of having a rational discussion of the issues. You are the beneficiary of many “socialist” policies right here in the US of A and would almost certainly complain even more loudly if they were taken away from you. Making you nothing more than a useful idiot of the Right.

  16. Hate gives Wingnuts a hard - on March 31, 2012 at 11:52 am

    And regardless of what colorful label you Wingnuts will want to slap on it, voting down the purchase mandate in Obamacare will bring us even closer to a single-payer system which has worked well for Veterans, Congressman, seniors, children and the poor for at least a generation.

    I’d like to see you try to tell these people that they don’t have health insurance any more because you consider it “Socialism”, even though you cannot explain why that is a problem except to invoke the usual ignorant stupidity like “Europe is a mess”.

  17. ATTILA on March 31, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    You are the beneficiary of many “socialist” policies right here in the US of A and would almost certainly complain even more loudly if they were taken away from you. Making you nothing more than a useful idiot of the Right.

    National defense and road construction are hardly socialist you dumb shit.

  18. ATTILA on March 31, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    to a single-payer system which has worked well for Veterans, Congressman, seniors, children and the poor for at least a generation
    envy gives moonbats a woody

    Only because one segment of the population is robbed to pay for it. Anything can be made to “work well” if you have enough barbed wire and
    bayonets you statist prick.

    (caveat ~~the constitution does give the congress the power to maintain
    the military, which would justify medical care for the vets, this however does
    not translate into cradle to grave paternalism for the country at large.)

  19. The question must be answered... on March 31, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    The European countries using single payer are running out of money. This is resulting in massive debt, and health care rationing.

    The only reason why most European countries could even engage in this level of social welfare is because they spend far less per capita on defense than we do, knowing they have our military as a backstop in an emergency.

    All of them, except for a few like Germany, are slowing going broke. As will we, if we adopt single-payer. Or unless we ration health care drastically.

  20. The question must be answered... on March 31, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    And regardless of what colorful label you Wingnuts will want to slap on it, voting down the purchase mandate in Obamacare will bring us even closer to a single-payer system which has worked well for Veterans, Congressman, seniors, children and the poor for at least a generation.

    Doubtful. Most people like their current healthcare, and Obamacare could barely get through Congress the first time, using every bribe and tactical contrivance in the book to pass by the skin of its teeth.

  21. CohoJoe on March 31, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Well, we will know soon.
    As for Un-Rino’s opinions, he keeps confusing his oral and anal orifices, so he can safely be ignored.

  22. Mad Dog's sockpuppets' sexual abuse counselor on March 31, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Hello there!

  23. P. Tillman on April 1, 2012 at 8:06 am

    “The European countries using single payer are running out of money.”

    Not because of health care costs. However, in the US, our much higher costs payed into a for-profit system ARE contributing significantly to the deficit (which doesn’t matter anyway but that’s an argument for another thread).

  24. P. Tillman on April 1, 2012 at 8:13 am

    Europe is going broke.

    US is going broke.

    Taxes on the rich are at the lowest level in decades despite the fact their profiting now more than ever.

    Hmmmmmm……looks like there’s an easy solution to all of this that exchanges the debate for “socialism” with “plutocracy”.

    And don’t go around screaming that 1) it won’t solve the problem (because it can, just not immediately), and 2) that the “rich” cannot afford a 3-10% increase in their taxes, since their income has gone up EVEN MORE and they have NOT been the “jaahb creators” that you all claim they are.

  25. anonymous un-RINO on April 1, 2012 at 8:46 am

    At least half of this country pays ZERO income taxes, troll.

    The “rich” pay most of them.

    You dumbass lefty troll.

    Oh, and say goodbye to ObamaCare, which did NOTHING about skyrocketing health care costs in this country, and in fact exacerbated them.

  26. MikeN on April 1, 2012 at 8:55 am

    Obama has presented a budget with tax increases on the rich. His budget increases the deficit and debt by even more than it is already going up. Instead of 2.9 trillion, the debt will be 6.5 trillion over the next ten years, according to Obama’s proposed budget.

  27. CohoJoe on April 1, 2012 at 9:09 am

    P. Tillman

    “U.S. is going broke.”

    IT’S THE SPENDING …… IDIOT!

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