ACLU Comment on Justice Kennedy Retirement

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WASHINGTON — Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy today announced his retirement from the nation’s highest court today. During his tenure, Justice Kennedy authored opinions and cast crucial swing votes on a number of landmark cases that strengthened, and curtailed, core constitutional rights and liberties. And as the country’s oldest and largest civil liberties organization, the American Civil Liberties Union was involved in almost all of them.

ACLU legal director David Cole issued the following statement in response:

Justice Kennedy was a critical moderating force on the Supreme Court for decades. He cast deciding votes to protect freedom of speech, to prevent the overturning of abortion rights, to limit state anti-immigration laws, to stop the execution of children, and to preserve affirmative action. His greatest legacy may rest with his decisions recognizing the dignity and rights of lesbians, gay, and bisexual people.  His attention to human dignity and individual rights will be missed.

We call on the President and the Congress to appoint a nominee who will respect the Constitution, the institutions of our democracy, and the rights of the most vulnerable among us: those whose rights can be lost in the political shuffle.  This appointment is about our future as a nation of laws and of people whose humanity and rights need to respected.

Trump’s nominee must be fully vetted by the Senate, and the American people deserve a deliberate — not rushed — nomination process. The record of the nominee should dictate the timeline, not any arbitrary dates imposed by a Senate leader.

This statement can be found here:

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