Judicial decrees on difficult moral questions have made our politics bitter.
So Anthony Kennedy is apparently sticking around.
For a while Democrats who have lost the House, lost the Senate and lost the White House were having conniptions over the thought they might soon lose what Justice Antonin Scalia once described as their “super-legislative” power: the Supreme Court. At the Washington Post Ruth Marcus called the prospect of Justice Kennedy’s retirement “terrifying and terrible.” Because notwithstanding his many sound opinions—this is the same justice who gave us Citizens United, upholding First Amendment speech rights—on the court he nevertheless plays an indispensable role for American progressives: culture warrior.
On issues best fitted for federalist solutions, such as abortion and marriage, Justice Kennedy has proved himself a reliable voice for the animating impulse of modern American progressivism. This is the idea that the American people cannot be trusted to decide certain issues and so must yield, as he once put it, to the “enhanced understanding” of unelected justices such as himself.