Just when I thought, "things can't get much worse", Justice Kennedy retired.
This gives our President a chance to change a Supreme Court that was unpredictable into one that is predictably conservative.
Kennedy wasn't a liberal, by any means. He was pretty conservative about most things but was often the 'swing vote' on human rights issues.
He sided with the four liberal justices on abortion issues, voting rights issues, racial issues, GLBTQ issues--things that make the President's BASE crazy.
So, he will try to force through someone to please 33% of the populace 'all the time'. Kennedy often pleased conservatives but on some things that matter profoundly to me, he pleased me.
I do not believe for a moment that the President is hard-right on the issues I mentioned above. In fact, I don't think he fits on the political spectrum at all--depends on what day it is.
But those hard-core voters that support him no matter what he does, they want abortion and gay marriage and immigration handled with an iron fist.
With this Supreme Court seat, the president can give them what they want.
And since the Senate blocked Obama from nominating a replacement for Justice Scalia, this opening, along with the first Supreme Court nomination will make "5-4" to the right a permanent thing.
Hopefully the 49 Democrats and Independents can hold the appointment off until November and win enough Senate seats to block anyone who isn't at least open-minded like Kennedy.
(It's a terrible place to be: "Well, things can't get much worse"--until they do....)
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