U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy announced his plans to retire this summer after serving 30 years on the nation’s highest court. Widely known for his swing vote on a range of issues, Justice Kennedy will leave at the end of July.
Attorneys like Larry Vincent of Dallas-based Burns Charest, who once clerked for Justice Kennedy, provide their reactions.
“It’s disappointing that he chose to retire at this time. I’ve always been proud of his opinions regarding individual liberty grounded in the Fifth and 14th amendments. Given what we know about the list of potential replacements already circulated by this administration, I think his legacy in those areas will be eradicated. I hope he doesn’t look back in a few years and regret his decision to leave the court at this juncture.
“I’ve spent much of my legal career, including my time here at Burns Charest, working to help people and companies recover for losses caused by negligence or the breach of a legal duty. Given the ideological shift at the court to restrict the ability of parties to use the courts to recover the amount they are due for the harm done to them, the loss of a compassionate conservative like Justice Kennedy is particularly frustrating.”
Philip Hilder, founder of Houston’s Hilder & Associates, P.C.: “Retirement of the swing justice will energize voters from all political stripes to come out this mid-term. Voters now realize the significance that a Supreme Court Justice has over their daily lives. Any nominee will need Senate confirmation and those elections this fall will be red hot battlegrounds unlike any in recent memory.”
Lara Hollingsworth, appellate lawyer and Of Counsel at Houston’s Rusty Hardin & Associates, LLP: “The court will never be the same. The era of moderate appointments has passed never to be seen again. The Merrick Garlands of the world don’t stand a chance. It’s a sad day for justice and our country.”
Chip Babcock of Jackson Walker: “Justice Kennedy will be recorded by history as one of the great justices of the United States Supreme Court. It was regular practice in close cases for entire briefs and oral arguments to be tailored just for him. He was that important. That cannot be said of many, if any, other members of the court in its history.”
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