Justice Anthony Kennedy surprisingly announced his retirement at the end of the term for the Supreme Court — he had already hired his judicial clerks for next term — playing into the narrative of right-wingers who have been pressuring him all year to retire in order to put another young ideological conservative on the Court like junior associate justice Neil Gorsuch.

The New York Times reports, Justice Anthony Kennedy to Retire From Supreme Court:


Justice Anthony M. Kennedy announced on Wednesday that he will retire this summer, setting in motion a furious fight over the future of the Supreme Court and giving President Trump the chance to cement a conservative judicial philosophy on the American legal system for generations.

* * *

Justice Kennedy delivered a letter of resignation to Mr. Trump Wednesday afternoon, shortly after a half-hour meeting at the White House, where the president called him a jurist with “tremendous vision and tremendous heart.”

“Please permit me by this letter to express my profound gratitude for having had the privilege to seek in each case how best to know, interpret and defend the Constitution and the laws that must always conform to its mandates and promises,” Justice Kennedy wrote to Mr. Trump.

A critical swing vote on the sharply polarized court for nearly three decades, Justice Kennedy, 81, embraced liberal views of gay rights, abortion and the death penalty even as he helped conservatives trim voting rights, block gun control measures and unleash campaign spending by corporations.

His replacement by a conservative justice — something Mr. Trump has vowed to insist upon — is certain to reshape the country’s legal landscape and could imperil a variety of landmark Supreme Court precedents on social issues, like abortion, where Justice Kennedy frequently sided with his liberal colleagues.

The ideological shift caused by Justice Kennedy’s departure could leave Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., himself a reliable conservative appointed by George W. Bush, as the decisive vote on a court whose other justices may soon include four committed liberals and four die-hard conservatives.

This is where the evil GOP bastard, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who engaged in an unprecedented and unconstitutional “judicial blockade” of President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Merrick Garland on the specious grounds that it was an election year and we should wait to see who controls the next Congress before proceeding with confirmation of a justice (the “McConnell Rule”) comes into play.

The Septuagenarian Ninja Turtle is an authoritarian  who says “That was then, this is now. I make the rules, and I will do as I want.

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, called on senators to make sure the president’s nominee will be “considered fairly” without being subjected to personal or character attacks.

“We will vote to confirm Justice Kennedy’s successor this fall,” Mr. McConnell vowed in brief remarks on Wednesday.

But Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, demanded that the Senate wait to confirm Justice Kennedy’s replacement until after the midterm elections. Mr. Schumer noted that Republicans delayed consideration of former President Barack Obama’s court nominee in 2016, citing the upcoming presidential election that year [the “McConnell Rule”].

That Republican tactic effectively handed Mr. Trump his first chance to fill the vacancy created by the death of Antonin Scalia. The unprecedented and unconstitutional move infuriated Democrats who accused Republicans of stealing Mr. Obama’s right to fill a seat on the court.

Mr. Schumer said that senators should not “consider a Supreme Court justice in an election year,” saying that “anything but that would be the absolute height of hypocrisy.”

Note: The Senate eliminated the cloture rule for confirmation votes on Supreme Court justices in the “nuclear option,” precluding a filibuster of Supreme Court nominees. A Handful of Republican senators are going to have to step up and join Democrats to block this vote. But they all put party before country.

Lawless authoritarian Trumpkins don’t care about hypocrisy. They are the masters of psychological projection and hypocrisy, accusing Democrats of doing things that they themselves actually do without concern once they are in power. Lawless authoritarian Trumpkins are all about seizing power and keeping power by any means necessary. They are anti-democratic and un-American. They are currently in thrall to a madman in the personality cult of Donald Trump, a madman who openly speaks of becoming America’s first dictator in a Trump über alles banana republic.

Make no mistake: this means we are at war with crypto-fascist Trumpkins for preservation of the Constitution, the rule of law, American democracy and the American experiment itself.

This is now one of the most critical elections in the history of the Republic. It is time for every patriotic loyal American to come to the aid of the country and the defense of the Constitution by voting out of office every politician with an “R” behind his or her name.

You can be certain that the crypto-fascist Trumpkins and the Christian Right extremists will now be animated and turn out in greater numbers in November because control of the U.S. Supreme Court and the opportunity to overturn Roe v. Wade to criminalize abortion, and to establish an actual Republic of Gilead, the theonomic totalitarian state in The Handmaid’s Tale, is what these Dominionists dream of.

Americans fought to rid the world of fascism in World War II. I’ll be damned if we are going to allow crypto-fascist Trumpkins to end the American experiment and to install America’s first dictator in a Trump über alles banana republic.