The U.S. Supreme Court wrapped up its most recent term this week, and it is fair to say Justice Anthony Kennedy is probably not ready to retire. However, it is a reach to say that Kennedy will remain on the bench for the full four years of Trump’s tenure as president, according to NPR.org. In cases where the outcome is divided, Justice Kennedy is often the tie-breaking vote.
However, with each day that passes, it is becoming abundantly clear that the new Supreme Court justice, Neil Gorsuch, is a hardline conservative. Some legal experts say that Gorsuch is more conservative than the late Justice Anthony Scalia. The Scotus.org blog states that Gorsuch voted with his conservative counterparts 100 percent of the time. Experts who follow the court say it is unusual for a new justice to immediately show their ideological footprints.
Most new Supreme Court justices are hesitant at first to leave an immediate footprint. Other new justices understood that any ruling the Supreme Court makes is final and understood the lasting implications of their decisions. Unlike past new inductees to the court, Gorsuch has painted a clear picture of how far right he plans to go in both his opinions and his votes.
An example is the modified version of Trump’s travel ban that recently went into effect. If Justice Alito, Thomas and Gorsuch had their way, the full version of the travel ban would have taken effect. Instead, Chief Justice Kennedy and the other five justices comprised on a revised version of the modified travel ban. The compromised version of the travel ban is now in effect.
Another example of Gorsuch’s far right views is an Arkansas law banning same-sex married couples from putting both their names on birth certificates. When the Supreme Court voted to strike down the law, Gorsuch, Alito and Thomas dissented.