Washington – In response to the news that Justice Anthony M. Kennedy will retire from the Supreme Court, Demos Director of Legal Strategies Chiraag Bains released the following statement:
“Justice Kennedy’s retirement could not come at a more perilous time for our democracy. This term was a jarring reminder of how much the Supreme Court can impact the daily lives of already marginalized people. The Court weakened civil rights protections in its decisions on voter purges and racial gerrymanders, reproductive rights, the invidious Muslim ban, coercive arbitration clauses in employment contracts, and just today the future of public-sector unions. All of these cases were decided 5-4, with President Trump’s first appointee to the Court in the majority every time.
“More broadly, Supreme Court rulings have shaped an electoral process in which the strength of our voices depends upon the size of our wallets—by gutting protections against big money in political campaigns, and for our freedom to vote.
“This president has devalued the lives of people of color, women, LGBTQ people, immigrants, and working-class people of all backgrounds since the day he took office. He has torn families apart at the border and jailed toddlers. He has identified the free press as the ‘enemy of the people.’ He should not be permitted to remake the Supreme Court in his image.
“The public and our representatives should apply the highest possible scrutiny to any nominee from this president, who consistently threatens the rule of law, is currently under investigation, and deliberately stokes racial fears to divide Americans from each other.”