King Kennedy

The well-respected columnist Charles Krauthammer recently referred to Justice Anthony Kennedy as "essentially the reigning monarch of the United States." This reference to Justice Kennedy's presumed exalted stature derives from his long-held position as the unique swing man on the Supreme Court. The Court is -- as it has been for a while -- comprised of four reliably conservative justices (currently Roberts, Alito, Scalia and Thomas) and four equally reliable liberal justices (currently Bader-Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan). In the last two decades, Kennedy has joined one or the other group to decide some of the weightiest issues confronting the nation by a slim 5-4 majority. Examples wherein Kennedy has sided with the conservatives include: Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010, campaign finance) and District of Columbia v. Heller (2009, gun control). On the other hand, Kennedy joined the liberal coterie in Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992, abortion). This...(Read Full Article)