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Friday, March 23, 2012

America's Ayatollah--Justice Anthony M. Kennedy of the U.S. Supreme Court

Well, well, well, I never thought America had an Ayatollah, a sort of Grand Leader like they have in Iran, who makes the Final Call on all legislation, laws, and the like. Well, we do have one.  His name is Mr. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy.  He's on the U.S. Supreme Court and sometimes votes with the conservative wing but other times with the liberals.  For example, the recently issued cases giving the federal courts greater supervisory powers over plea bargaining in criminal cases.  Those were both 5-4 decisions.

When it comes to the Obamneycare case [National Health Care legislation, whose constitutionality has been drawn into question on several grounds], which is set for three consecutive days of oral argument starting this Monday, The Ayatollah Anthony M. Kennedy will likely have final say over which parts of the law pass constitutional muster and which don't.

Now it's somewhat inaccurate to call Justice Kennedy an Ayatollah.  Justice Antonin "the Angry" Scalia COULD, it is true, vote with the liberals, and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg with the conservatives, thereby deposing Justice Kennedy from his perch as Supreme Leader, but how bloody likely is that to happen?  The sun will probably go out forever before Scalia becomes The Liberal Justice and Ginsberg The Conservative.  So, while the sun shines, Kennedy's our Ayatollah.  Not of the JFK variety, but just plain vanilla Anthony M. Kennedy aka Ayatollah Kennedy.

Please feel free to Comment and give me hell or high water.

All best,

A Writer with a Strong Constitution


  1. Dear Fatigued and Bored Anonymous (arch 23, 2012 at 2:26 p.m.),
    I wrote the post after reading the Times article today about the two 5-4 criminal cases and thought that readers who are not legally sophisticated might find the comparison between the Iranian Ayatollah and the swing justice of our Supreme Court interesting. For the cognoscenti, like yourself and me, this is not new news, but not everyone realizes how powerful a swing justice is in our constitutional system.
    I am not at all offended by your Comment and fully understand it. However, it is interesting to me that you have not said that about any of the other posts.
    Thanks for your Comment.

    All best,

    The Un-Fatigued Writer

  2. You sure hate conservatives, don't you!

    1. Dear Paranoid Anonymous (March 25, 2012 at 5:03 a.m.),
      Actually no. I married into a very conservative family, my wife's family. Although I didn't agree politically with my late father-in-law Glenn L. Price about anything politically, I loved that man. He gave me a kind of in-your-face fathering which my own father was incapable of.
      As far a conservatives generally, I'm a big fan of Eisenhower and Rockefeller rational conservatives who were fiscally conservative and socially liberal. But the brand of conservatism espoused by somebody like Ricky Sanctorum, which I'll call Taliban Republicanism, I have no particular stomach for. Maybe it's just me, but I see no point in controlling women's bodies and having everybody convert to a kind of Papist Roman Catholic Conservatism. Come to think of that one, I'd call Ricky's brand of politics by the abbreviation KKKK (Klearly Krazy Katholic Konservatism).
      Hell, no, bro', or sistah', I don't hate the conservative, just the KKKK views.

      All best,

      The Bleating Heart Liberal Writer