Maya Sen Profile picture
Jun 27, 2018 9 tweets 3 min read
For those new to #SCOTUS politics, #Kennedy is the median Justice -- his retirement, and replacement w/a more conservative Justice, would shift the Court's median substantially right. This would have been the difference on a number of 5-4 cases in which AMK voted w/the liberals.
Hugely important. More impactful than replacing Scalia with Gorsuch, though not as impactful as it would have been to replace Scalia with Garland. Ramifications of this will last at least a generation.
Liberals are looking at a **best case** scenario of being 5-4 in the minority for at least a decade or so, depending on presidential politics and the health of Thomas (age 70), Ginsburg (85), and Breyer (79).
But the majority/minority numbers (5-4) don't paint a nuanced enough picture. What will really affect #SCOTUS rulings is shifting the median from Kennedy to Roberts. John Roberts will soon be the median Justice on #SCOTUS. Let that sink in.
Here's an old graphic from 2012 that illustrates this -- Kennedy would vote occasionally with the liberals. Alito, Roberts, and Scalia? Not so much. Now imagine the Court w/o Kennedy but w/another Alito. archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.co…
What are the cases where Kennedy sided w/the liberals? Well, for starters US v. Windsor and Obergefell v. Hodges -- 5-4 rulings that affirmed same-sex marriage rights. Are these immediately in danger? No. But little question they would have been decided differently.
Also hearing murmurs re: McConnell scheduling vote after midterms. Seems unlikely to me. Shifting SCOTUS median this much is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Risk of losing that if Senate is lost too great. Plus, it's a gift to evangelical base. Hence:
List of things now under threat: affirmative action, abortion rights at the nat'l level, protections afforded to LGBT folks. Death penalty? Here to say. Entire legal strategies? Out the door. Didn't think so much could hang on one person? That's "separation of powers" for you.
If I had to guess, I think affirmative action will go first. It's a particularly touchy issue for Roberts, who will soon be the new "swing" Justice. cnn.com/2013/02/28/opi…

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More from @maya_sen

Jun 27, 2018
Probably the best news of the day, pending outcome of #MEXSWE match
All right. Terrible outcome in #MEXSWE, even though #MEX advance. So Kennedy not retiring still probably best news of the day, with the exception of #GERKOR.
nevermind.
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