Justice Anthony Kennedy has announced that he is retiring from the Supreme Court, effective July 31.
Video of NBC’s Pete Williams reading the Kennedy retirement letter:
Kennedy’s retirement effective essentially immediately means that the dysfunctional president and dysfunctional Republican-led Senate have to hustle to get a Supreme Court justice confirmed before the next term begins in October. Kennedy was a Reagan appointee, so his replacement won’t change the makeup of the court, but it will cement a 5-4 conservative majority for the foreseeable future.
With a possible Democratic takeover of the Senate looming, it is possible that this could be Trump’s last smooth Supreme Court nomination.
Democrats are going to fight if Trump nominates an extremist, which is a given, but after the theft of Merrick Garland’s seat by Mitch McConnell, Democrats should insist that no Supreme Court nominee be confirmed in an election year. The next Senate should have the right to weigh in on Trump’s nominee.
Kennedy is gone, and his retirement raised the stakes for the midterm election exponentially.
If the standard is no election year confirmations, Democrats must dig in, and do exactly what Mitch McConnell did. Chuck Schumer must keep the Supreme Court short one justice until after the midterm election.
Never forget what Mitch McConnell did to Merrick Garland.
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