He penned the Supreme Court's first major gay-rights decision in 1996, protecting LGBT Americans from discrimination. Yes, a man they thought unsafe and demagogic was in the White House but the other branches of government - Congress and the courts - were providing an effective brake on executive power.
WASHINGTON, (Reuters) - Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy said on Wednesday he plans to retire after three decades as a pivotal vote on the highest US judicial body, giving President Donald Trump an opportunity to make the court more firmly conservative.
Justice Anthony Kennedy is retiring, which means the makeup of the Supreme Court is about to shift dramatically.
The court could well decide the outcome of the recent family separation crisis at the border, too, and existential questions about the Trump presidency itself if that is where Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russian Federation probe MORE's investigation leads.
Inside the West Wing, there was an air of vindication and even elation among the President and his senior aides as cable television shows broke in with breaking news bulletins announcing the Supreme Court's ruling.More news: Koepka wins second straight US Open Championship
With the court's five conservatives in the majority, the ruling also ended a fierce fight in the courts over whether the policy amounted to an unlawful Muslim ban.
Justice Roberts said it was "wholly inapt to liken that morally repugnant order to a facial neutral policy denying certain foreign nationals the privilege of admission".
Democrats pointed to Republicans' decision to delay confirmation hearings for Merrick Garland's nomination until after the 2016 election as a reason for Trump to wait on selecting Kennedy's successor.
As part of Tuesday's ruling, Justice Roberts officially repudiated the 1944 internment ruling and rejected the comparison, saying that the war-era practice was "objectively unlawful and outside the scope of presidential authority".
Crawford expects the president to name a new justice soon, to be confirmed during the summer and in place when the high court returns in October to hear arguments.More news: Blood Moon 2018: Longest Total Lunar Eclipse of Century Occurs July 27
Today, just over 30 years later, Justice Kennedy announced his retirement in a letter to US President Donald Trump. He added that his decision was motivated by the desire to spend more time with his family.
The president said he would pick from a list of roughly 25 judicial nominees compiled by the Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society during his campaign.
Though he was nominated by a Republican president, Kennedy, a California native, also has a strong libertarian streak, and he was the swing vote on the court, casting the deciding vote on the same-sex marriage decision, affirmative action, and Citizens United, among others. Id., at 132-133. He added: "That's right, we need a TRAVEL BAN for certain risky countries, not some politically correct term that won't help us protect our people!"
A lower court's nationwide injunction against the policy was voided and the case sent down for further consideration in line with the Supreme Court's decision.More news: Harley, stung by tariffs, shifts some production overseas
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