News Worms
News Worms


Big cases, retirement rumors as Supreme Court nears finish

Big cases, retirement rumors as Supreme Court nears finish

The court in the coming days is also expected to act on President Donald Trump's emergency request seeking to revive his travel ban on people entering the U.S. from six Muslim-majority countries, which was blocked by lower courts. Several of his former law clerks have said they think he is contemplating stepping down in the next year or so.

The announcement would give President Trump the opportunity to replace Kennedy - who leans right but serves as the ideological center of the court - with a more conservative justice.

A Kennedy retirement - whether it comes tomorrow, this week or any time between now and 2019 (after that you can be sure Democrats would block any attempt to nominate a new justice, given the Merrick Garland precedent) - would mean in the eyes of many conservatives that Trump would be the man who changed the legal course of the country.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, who has cast the decisive vote in some of the court's most far-reaching decisions, turns 81 next month and is widely believed to be thinking of retiring.

"As the court's most important Justice-at the center of the institution's ideological balance-Justice Kennedy's ability to bridge the divide between left and right on critical issues such as the right to access abortion can not be overstated", Elizabeth Wydra, president of the Constitutional Accountability Center, told CNN.

Of course, that means the Trump administration is facing questions over the possibility of another court vacancy, but Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway wouldn't say much when asked about it on This Week with George Stephanopoulos.

Speculation is swirling that Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy could announce his retirement as early as this term, The Associated Press and CNN reported Saturday.

A Kennedy retirement could place a spotlight on the newest justice, Neil Gorsuch - whose judicial record of strong protection of religious rights includes the Hobby Lobby case, in which he ruled for private company owners challenging the Obamacare contraception coverage mandate on religious principles.

In all, six cases that were argued between November and April remain undecided. Kennedy sided with conservatives on the Citizens United case which struck down election spending limits, and on issues of gun control and voting rights. The court also agreed to hear a case on Trump's travel ban and lifted an injunction against it.

"We'd like a lot more cooperation from our Democratic friends". The case takes on additional significance with Trump ratcheting up immigration enforcement, placing more people in detention awaiting deportation. Although they do not generate big headlines, these cases profoundly affect the lives of millions of ordinary people - and the court usually sides with business.

Another case that will be addressed is Hernandez v. Mesa, in which US agents shot a Mexican national in a group of assailants on the Mexican side of the border.

Before the Supreme Court justices begin their long summer break, they're poised to act on the Trump administration's travel ban and a separation of church and state dispute involving a Missouri church playground.

A 120-day ban on refugees also is being allowed to take effect on a limited basis.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, said the ban was "rooted in religious animus" toward Muslims and pointed to Trump's campaign promise to impose a ban on Muslims entering the country as well as tweets and remarks he has made since becoming president.

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