Tuesday, March 17, 2009
As Court-watchers well know, Justice Anthony Kennedy has firmly taken Justice O'Connor's place as the Court's designated swing-vote. This week two stories place Justice Kennedy in the spotlight. First, an article in the Washington Post outlines Justice Kennedy's role on the Court in several cases. The best quote - "There's clearly a center on this court," says Supreme Court practitioner Roy T. Englert Jr., "and it consists of Justice Kennedy." (The article also has some great information on Justices Scalia, Souter, and Stevens.)
Second, the Blog of Legal Times has a brief interview with Helen Knowles, the author of a new book about the justice. According to the BLT, "Knowles said she views Kennedy as a "modest libertarian" especially in the areas of free speech, race and privacy. That libertarianism does not make him reluctant to wield judicial power, she adds. " For those in the DC, Maryland, Virginia area (and those outside the area with the ability to stream over the internet), Professor Knowles will discuss her work at the CATO institute next week during a forum devoted to Justice Kennedy.
UPDATE: Professor David Cohen of Drexel Law has also written a piece analyzing Justice Kennedy's role on the Court (abstract here). Professor Cohen argues that Justice Kennedy is particularly influential in cases involving sex discrimination and other gender issues. Please read and enjoy!