What happens after Justice Anthony Kennedy retires from the Supreme Court?
‘In 18 months, abortion will be illegal in 20 states in the country’
The news that Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy will retire could usher in a disturbing new era in which abortion is outlawed, according to experts. With his departure, Donald Trump has the opportunity to appoint a new member to the Supreme Court – someone who could tip pivotal cases in favor of conservative activists.
According to some, Kennedy's retirement could even mean the end of legal termination in some states. "You are going to see 20 states pass laws banning abortion outright," predicts CNN pundit Jeffrey Toobin. "Just banning abortion. Because they know that there are now going to be five votes on the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade." Trump promised to put pro-life judges in the Supreme Court during his 2016 campaign, and has already appointed the conservative Neil Gorsuch – this is his chance to make a second appointment.
Kennedy's vote upheld abortion – now he's retiring, as one legal professor said: "There almost certainly will be a majority to overrule Roe v. Wade and allow states to prohibit abortions."
And it might not stop there. During his time in the Supreme Court, Kennedy's vote decided a number of other laws that could now be wiped out. He ruled in favor of gay marriage at a federal and then state level. He voted to protect people from being discriminated against for their sexual orientation.
He was also the justice whose recent ruling upheld affirmative action in a landmark case where a white student claimed she was discriminated against. Experts are worried with that with a Trump-appointed justice, the future will look incredibly bleak.