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With Justice Kennedy’s Retirement, Fair Housing Is in Peril

The Supreme Court’s swing vote on the 2015 “disparate impact” case shored up the Fair Housing Act.
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who announced his retirement on Wednesday.
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who announced his retirement on Wednesday.Damian Dovarganes/AP

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the most important decision on fair housing in a generation. He’ll almost certainly get to see it overturned in his lifetime.

When Kennedy announced his long-rumored retirement on Wednesday, he shined a spotlight on the tenuous political balance of the U.S. Supreme Court. Famously a swing vote, Kennedy sided with the court’s four liberal justices on defining decisions on reproductive rights, same-sex marriage, the death penalty, and other hot-button social issues.