Supreme Court loses its center


For 30 years, Justice Anthony Kennedy has occupied a spot in the middle of the court’s ideological spectrum, often providing the deciding vote in closely divided cases.

While he embraced liberal views on gay rights, abortion and the death penalty, he helped conservatives trim voter access, block gun-control measures and unleash campaign spending by corporations.

The 81-year-old justice announced his retirement on Wednesday.

Checking how the justice has voted over three decades it could be a perception that Kennedy swang his vote. He doesn’t like being called the court’s swing vote: “The cases swing,” he said in 2015. “I don’t.”

With Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement, President Trump has an opportunity to put a conservative stamp on the American legal system for generations.

Mr. Trump has vowed, for instance, to appoint justices committed to overruling Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that established a constitutional right to abortion.

Yesterday, Jimmy Fallon at his late-night show tried to persuade Justice Anthony Kennedy not to retire: “You have a great job, where you barely work, you get to wear a robe all day and give your opinions on stuff. That basically is retirement.”