Is John Roberts the New Anthony Kennedy?
When Anthony Kennedy retired from the U.S. Supreme Court in 2018, he enjoyed the distinction of having been denounced by every major political faction in the country. For conservatives, Kennedy was the activist judge who “invented” a right to gay marriage. For progressives, he was the corporate shill who authored Citizens United. For libertarians, he was guilty of both enabling eminent domain abuse and squashing the rights of local medical marijuana users in favor of a national drug control scheme. At one point or another, everybody had cause to hate him.
Is John Roberts the new Kennedy? As the Supreme Court’s 2019–2020 term came to its dramatic close in July, the current chief justice not only solidified his role as a swing voter in highly charged cases but managed to annoy practically everybody along the way.
Will the religious right ever forgive Roberts for siding with the Court’s Democratic appointees to strike down an anti-abortion law? In Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt (2016), the chief justice dissented when the Court overturned a Texas statute that required abortion providers to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. But in this last term’s June Medical Se
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