In response to Justice Anthony Kennedy’s announcement that he will retire from the Supreme Court, People For the American Way President Michael Keegan issued the following statement.
“Justice Kennedy played an historic role in vindicating the constitutional right of same-sex couples to be treated the same as anyone else. And while he wasn’t a reliable voice for women’s reproductive rights or civil rights, he was willing to stand against some of the far-right’s worst excesses when it came to attacking choice and issued or joined some important civil rights rulings. Most of these were narrow 5-4 rulings that could be reversed by a single vote on the Court. His retirement means both marriage equality and the right to abortion in the United States, as well as key civil rights rulings, are in grave danger. Donald Trump has made clear that, left unchecked, he’ll appoint a Supreme Court Justice who wouldn’t hesitate to toss aside precedent to enact a dangerous and extreme agenda.
“Whoever is confirmed to the seat will serve for life, and the values they bring to the job will shape our country for a generation. Americans need a fair-minded constitutionalist on the bench, someone who understands the real world and how the law impacts all Americans. We can’t afford another narrow-minded elitist who will protect corporations and the wealthy instead of all Americans, and who will roll the clock back on women, LGBTQ people, workers, and people of color. The stakes for this nomination couldn’t be higher, and senators should make clear that they’ll oppose any nomination that isn’t the result of meaningful bipartisan consultation.”
People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and defend constitutional values including free expression, religious liberty, equal justice under the law, and the right to meaningfully participate in our democracy.