While Kennedy was a conservative who had a hand in the court’s most recent appalling rulings, he provided a crucial swing vote for the liberal side on issues like same-sex marriage and abortion access. Trump will now have an opportunity to replace that swing vote with one of the dozens of extremist, anti-choice judges he already has lined up.
“Time to get to work,” Topher Spiro, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, wrote on Wednesday. “Roe v. Wade is in great peril. So are pre-existing condition protections and gay rights.”
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With Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) already aiming to confirm Kennedy’s successor “this fall,” activists are pressuring Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to deploy the same hard-ball tactics McConnell used to steal a Supreme Court nominee from former President Barack Obama.
“With Justice Kennedy’s retirement, Chuck Schumer and other Democrats will have to demonstrate a different level of political courage,” concluded Princeton University professor Eddie Glaude. “It is not a time to play nice.”
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