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Opinion
Mark Gongloff

Anthony Kennedy Hands Trump the Keys to the Future

The high court may soon accelerate even more to the right.

Trump and Kennedy.

Trump and Kennedy.

Photographer: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP

The U.S. Supreme Court just ended one of its most conservative terms in history. Turns out it was just a taste of what’s coming.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, who was mostly conservative but occasionally supported some key liberal issues, is retiring. President Donald Trump gets to pick his replacement, in probably the country’s most significant political moment since Trump’s election. Trump has promised to pick a conservative replacement, and some on his shortlist will likely take positions to the right of Kennedy on abortion, criminal justice, LGBTQ rights and more. It certainly seems unlikely a Trump conservative will share Kennedy’s sensibilities – which, as Noah Feldman writes, led him to afford the same dignity to gay people as to, say, Exxon Mobil Corp.