Let it not be said that I was silent the day Anthony Kennedy decided to quit the Supreme Court.
After a flurry of unfortunate (in)decisions that made racially-based gerrymandering, religious bigotry and Islamophobia and union strangling de jure acceptable, our “swing” justice has decided at 80 that he is tired, I guess.
That’s fine. He has earned the right to rest his mind, in a way. After all, he helped make same sex marriages legal, shielded the right of women to have abortions, curtailed eminent domain, protected mentally ill minors from execution, brought habeas corpus to our prisoners in Iraq, and affirmed the right to burn an American flag under free speech provisions, to name a few good decisions that he was involved in bringing forth.
Those are big deals. Thank you.
But looking over the bulk of his notable decisions, maybe not much will change in this increasingly dystopian era of American history. We the people were largely fucked by him during his tenure. In effect, all that will happen from here on in is that there ain’t gonna be any more rays of sunshine from the Supreme Court like the ones above for decades. Assume that there is no ultimate redress in the days to come. Don’t be too sure about what you think your fundamental rights are anymore. Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell will no doubt choose a young little sociopathic prick prepped and endorsed by the Federalist Society that will guarantee that the conservative will be done for the foreseeable future (or in perpetuity if they can get away with their long con).
We’ve always teetered between good and evil here in America. It can be a really mixed bag for so many of us, and our history is riddled with dark times. I’ve always liked Martin Luther King’s quote, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” That notion suddenly seems rather quaint, but perhaps someday we can believe in that again. I will try to make sure my children remember.
Maybe Kennedy is ill and we don’t know it. I really don’t think he voted for Donald Trump, but with his departure he certainly is handing him more than a ballot. If anything else is the case-that he is still of sound mind and body-then he can go straight to hell. He knows more than anyone what will happen to the Court as he prepares to step down. I mean, Ruth Bader Ginsberg is probably tired as fuck too but she knows as well what will happen if another abdication of a seat occurs during King Baby’s reign of error (whenever that ends, god help us). He had a responsibility to keep his finger in the dike so that rigid originalism could not wipe out the rights we have managed to eke out from this damn government. I cannot believe there is a reality in which he does not know in his bones that a mindless dictator is going to have his way with this country as he departs.
So now it’s drowning time, and I guess it doesn’t matter to him. Maybe soon he will explain to us why he has left the people hanging helplessly and left his seat to someone who might unravel what we call progress. Maybe he feels that no explanation is necessary.
Again, he’s 80. And ultimately, he was never “ours” to begin with so perhaps we haven’t lost too much.
Except for hope for the future… you know, little things.
Either way, you can go fuck yourself, Justice Kennedy.
Fuck you for helping punt several huge issues this June of 2018 knowing that a more conservative court will hold the judicial knife to peoples’ throats in the future.
Fuck you for exploding gun ownership.
Fuck you for diluting democracy by allowing corporations to flood politics with even more money.
Fuck you for George W. Bush.
Fuck you for everything that’s about to befall the children.
People of color.
Every oppressed person who goes unnamed because they don’t grab enough headlines.
We are about to be under siege.