Thursday, 15 November, 2018

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

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Alfredo Watts | 27 June, 2017, 07:44

Kennedy, who has served in the court since 1988, has become a key swing vote in the otherwise largely evenly divided court.

The US Supreme Court is set to rule on Monday in a closely watched religious rights case involving limits on public funding for churches and other religious entities as the justices issue the final rulings of their current term.

Three of the court's conservative justices said they would have let the complete bans take effect.

Another nominee, Damien Schiff, nominated to the Court of Federal Claims, used a different blog to denounce anti-bullying efforts for "teaching "gayness" in public schools", and criticize the court's ruling in Lawrence v. Texas - that's your ruling, Justice Kennedy - striking down state laws criminalizing homosexual sodomy.

In the event of a vacancy, she said the president would look for a candidate with similar credentials to his previous nominee who was confirmed, Justice Neil Gorsuch.

Gorsuch is already delivering as the strong conservative President Donald Trump promised his voters when he ran for office a year ago.

Sources close to Kennedy say that he is seriously considering retirement, but they are unclear if it could occur as early as this term.

When his campaign was flagging last fall, Trump returned to a familiar strategy - putting out a wider list of 21 names he might choose to be the next member of the nation's highest court.

Several of Kennedy's former law clerks have said they think he is considering stepping down within the next year, the Associated Press reported.

His retirement would give Trump the rare opportunity to pick a second Supreme Court justice just a few months into his first term as president. "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".

In its per curium decision released Monday morning, the Supreme Court not only announced that it would hear the full case on the travel ban in October, but that it was also lifting the lower courts' temporary injunctions and allowing the order to be enforced.

Trinity Lutheran could be headed for a lopsided win, with two liberal justices joining their conservative colleagues in signaling support during the April oral argument.

Many experts predicted with Trump's election in November that the court could shift sharply to the right, changing the makeup for decades. Only four justices have died while sitting on the bench since 1950.

He's also sided with the right side of the bench on issues such as gun control and voting rights. He was in the decent twice in the landmark ObamaCare cases, and even tried to bring back Chief Justice John Roberts, who both times rewrote the law to upheld it.

Nan Aron, president of the liberal Alliance for Justice, said Monday's decisions "confirm" that Gorsuch "is staking out a position on the court's right flank". He blasted the "so-called judge"; assailed "slow and political" courts; and, most alarming, suggested that blood would be on the judiciary's hands if a terrorist incident took place while his travel ban was being delayed.