This was a busy week in the world of the U.S. Supreme Court.
First, on Wednesday, the Court upheld the 3rd iteration of President Trump’s Executive Order instituting a travel ban as to certain countries, in the case of Trump v. Hawaii. Thursday morning I joined the Justice & Drew crew to discuss that decision and you can listen to our discussion here.
At the close of my Thursday interview, Drew asked me to predict what the Court would do later that morning in the case of Janus v. State, County and Municipal Employees, and whether I thought Justice Anthony Kennedy would retire from the Court. I predicted that the public employee unions would not be happy with the Court’s decision in Janus, and that Justice Kennedy would call it a career and thereby allow a Republican President to select his replacement (given that he was originally nominated by another Republican President, Ronald Reagan).
My prediction turned out to be spot on. The Court held in Janus that public employee unions cannot coerce its members to contribute, and then around 1:30 pm Wednesday afternoon, this happened:
My dear Mr. President,
This letter is a respectful and formal notification of my decision, effective July 31 of this year, to end my regular active status as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, while continuing to serve in a senior status, as provided in 28 U.S.C 371 (b).
For a member of the legal profession it is the highest of honors to serve on this Court. Please permit me by this letter to express my profound gratitude for having had the privilege to seek in each case how best to know, interpret, and defend the Constitution and the laws that must always conform to its mandates and promises.
Respectfully and sincerely,
And so on Thursday morning I was on the show again to talk about my thoughts as to Justice Kennedy’s replacement and the politics surrounding the next nominee. You can listen to that discussion here.
Decisions such as Janus, which overturned a 40 year old case, don’t come along every day. Nor, for that matter, does a Supreme Court Justice retire all that often, so to have both happen on the same day is very historic.
To hear my prior appearances as the “Lawyer Extraordinaire” on Justice & Drew on other hot topics, click here.