27 June 2018, Washington D.C. —Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement effective 31 July. What a drag! Now Donald Trump will get to appoint another Justice. I fear the next appointment will be worse, i.e., more conservative, than the last one.
Justice Kennedy is the swing vote: sometimes he’d side with the liberals on the Court, sometimes with the conservatives. A Reagan appointee, Kennedy frequently surprised many by standing with the liberals rather than always siding with the Court’s conservatives. When Trump nominates his next Justice, the Court will be packed with conservatives.
Justice Kennedy notwithstanding, the Supreme Court already is doing Trump’s dirty work for him: making America forbidding again for people of color and women. With five conservative justices on the court, it will be a miracle if African-Americans can continue to vote, if women can still get legal abortions, if unions can survive, and if gerrymandering can be slowed.
Trump’s conservative vortex is scary, sucking down many of the advances the country has made over the past 50 years; and it seems unstoppable. It is a time machine set to the past.
All we can do is wait to see who Trump will nominate to the Court and hope the candidate is someone we can live with, someone who won’t help take the country too far into the past. After all, everyone understands what “Make America Great Again” means, and a return to the “good old days” for which Trump and his minions yearn does not bode well for African-Americans and anyone else who isn’t part of the mainstream.
It is hard to remain hopeful, but we must. . .