Saturday, June 24, 2006

The Kennedy era of the Supreme Court?

In an AP report, Duke Law School professor Erwin Chemerinsky is quoted: "We have entered the era of the Kennedy court. It's striking what a pivotal role Kennedy has come to play."

Although the AP report discusses Kennedy's role in non-patent cases, Kennedy's concurring opinion in eBay v. MercExchange is significant. If Kennedy commanded one more vote, it would have been even more significant.

The AP noted:

In conservative victories, Kennedy wrote a 5-4 decision that said public employees do not have free-speech protections for what they say as part of their jobs. He also broke a 4-4 tie to make it easier for police with search warrants to enter homes without knocking or waiting.

Kennedy wrote the term's two biggest death penalty cases, which made it easier for death row inmates to contest lethal injections and to get DNA evidence before the courts.

Kennedy also blocked conservatives from dramatically scaling back the Clean Water Act. The 5-4 decision preserves government authority to block development on wetlands as long as the wetlands meet Kennedy's test.


Blogger Lawrence B. Ebert said...

Note a later post on the 271blog:

5:53 AM  

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