Travel ban, church-state case await action by Supreme Court

As the Supreme Court unleashed a flurry of orders and opinions on Monday and allowed parts of the travel ban to go into effect it left one major question unresolved.

Kennedy sits at the center of the Court now only because the Court itself has moved so far to the right in the past 12 years.

"He regularly demonstrated a deep and adroit commitment to interpreting the Constitution and laws as they are written", Leo said.

Furthermore, Kennedy's possible retirement is expected to shift the ideological balance.

"Whereas new justices usually take a beat before they start opining on every issue the court does (and doesn't) address, Justice Gorsuch has asserted his exceptionally conservative views early and often across a dizzying range of hot-button issues", Joshua Matz, a former clerk to Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, told CNN.

Writing in dissent, Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Justice Neil Gorsuch, blasted the Court for its failure to act and for its "distressing trend" of treating "the Second Amendment as a disfavored right".

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Gorsuch, with two of the court's other conservatives, said they would have voted to allow the entire ban to go into effect. "Replacing Justice Kennedy with a Trump nominee would nearly certainly sound the death knell for Roe, just as candidate Trump promised during the 2016 campaign". Don't listen to all the happy talk about how the Chief Justice is going to move to the center to help save the Court's reputation; if he is the "swing" vote the Court is going to "swing" right nearly every time and progressives causes are going to suffer. So will the use of solitary confinement, which Kennedy is recent years has sharply criticized.

"You can't understand how important his affirmative action opinion is without understanding his earlier jurisprudence", said Katyal.

And for their concern, Democrats like Hirono contend that the conservative justices are evil.

Gorsuch concurred in the court's disposition of Hicks v.

In a brief but sometimes folksy opinion that speaks directly to the reader at one point ("Now, you might wonder if our intervention is needed to remedy the problem."), Gorsuch noted that judges on the Federal Circuit had voiced concerns about the presumption, which "may well mean the presumption's days are numbered".

He's also sided with the right side of the bench on issues such as gun control and voting rights.

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Gorsuch joined Roberts' opinion, although he parted ways with the chief justice when it came to a critical footnote that limited its holding. No one could blame him if he were to decide to spend more of his remaining time with his family.

Another consideration is that if Kennedy were to delay his retirement for a year, his replacement would face confirmation during the mid-term election year, something that could further inject politics into an already controversial process.

Oh, and also, to observe that "it would seem that Justice Kennedy is (and please excuse the language) a judicial prostitute, "selling" his vote as it were to four other justices in exchange for the high that comes from aggrandizement of power and influence, and the blandishments of the fawning media and legal academy".

Cordray was renominated in 2013 and confirmed by the Senate.

On the final day of the term, Thomas and Gorsuch dissented from the Court's refusal to take up a landmark Second Amendment case concerning the right of individuals to carry a handgun outside the home for self-defense.

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