Kennedy’s Supreme Court legacy is being erased, in part by past clerks
The Supreme Court is currently shifting back toward a more conservative majority, with the Trump administration appointing conservative judges to a majority of the seats. This is eroding away some of the legacy of the late Justice Anthony Kennedy, who held a moderate and centrist view on the Court. His replacement, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, has already indicated he will swing the Court to the right. This shift away from moderate values is being compounded by the recent selection of Kennedy's former clerks to serve on the Supreme Court. Several of these former clerks, including Justice Neil Gorsuch and Justice Brett Kavanaugh, have proven to be far more conservative than Kennedy. As a result, the moderate values of Kennedy's tenure have been eclipsed by conservative positions. Given the current political environment, it is unclear how long this trend will last and what implications it will have on the U.S. legal system. Many Democrats and civil rights activists worry that the erosion of Kennedy's legacy will have a long-term effect on individual liberties and rights. For example, progressive issues such as affirmative action, LGBTQ rights, immigration and reproductive freedom are likely to see a setback if the current conservative shift continues. While Kennedy's time on the Supreme Court may have been brief, his beliefs and values have had an enduring influence on law and policy in the United States. It is uncertain how his legacy will be remembered in the years to come, but it is clear that his absence has already had a significant impact on the Court.