Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy resigned last week. The moderate judicial leader is credited with tempering hot-button issues from both the left and the right at various points in his career, including affirmative action and Roe v. Wade.
• Analysts are now talking about whether his departure may ignite another vote to ban abortion federally. Over previous years, many indicated that Kennedy’s vote was the only thing stopping further erosion of “women’s rights to choose.”
• Kennedy also stood firm supporting affirmative action, a movement designed to create equality for people suffering from discrimination. Many question not only whether affirmative action is effective, but whether it is in and of itself discriminatory because it gives special benefits for race, gender, or health status.
• Kennedy’s departure could also open up a path for Trump to place a far-right judge in his place. If this happens, gay marriage may both be repealed over the next couple of years. Some states may also bring anti-sodomy laws back to criminally punish gay men.
• The Supreme Court Judge also voted against repealing voter ID laws, which some Americans believe are discriminatory in nature. His departure could affect conservative efforts to keep voter fraud and political gerrymandering down.
• Kennedy was also responsible for supportive voting on death penalty laws that prevent the state from executing minors and the intellectually disabled, such as people with developmental delays, Autism or Down Syndrome. If a more right-leaning judge takes his place, these protections may be removed, allowing states to execute within both populations.