NYT editorial board writes open letter asking Kennedy not to retire from SCOTUS

NYT editorial board writes open letter asking Kennedy not to retire from SCOTUS
© Greg Nash

The New York Times editorial board on Sunday penned an open letter to Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, asking him to remain on the court amid rumors of his retirement.

“How can we put this the right way? Please don’t go,” the board wrote.

The board noted Kennedy's legacy in helping to deliver “landmark legal victories” for groups like LGBTQ Americans and black college students.

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And they said that Republicans are eyeing his departure as a chance to “install another rock-ribbed conservative.”

“But this moment is about so much more than partisan jockeying. We can’t know what is in your heart, Your Honor, but we do know what your departure right now would mean for the court, and for the nation. It would not be good,” the editorial reads.

The board argued that Kennedy’s departure would lead to him being replaced with a “hard-line conservative,” a move that “would have enormous consequences for the nation’s laws and Constitution for decades to come.”

The board also invoked the probe into ties between President TrumpDonald John TrumpLawmakers prep ahead of impeachment hearing Democrats gear up for high-stakes Judiciary hearing Warren says she made almost M from legal work over past three decades MORE’s campaign and Russia and pointed out that several Trump associates have pleaded guilty to charges in the investigation.

“To put it bluntly, did you spend a lifetime honoring and upholding the Constitution and the values of civility and decency in American public life only to have your replacement chosen by Donald Trump?” the board writes.

Kennedy, a centrist conservative appointed by President Reagan, is considered the most pivotal justice on the court and has cast the tie-breaking vote in several key Supreme Court decisions, sometimes siding with his liberal counterparts.

GOP senators are pushing for Kennedy, 81, to retire from the court in the new few months so the Republican-controlled Senate can easily confirm a conservative successor.

And Sen. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerThis week: Barr back in hot seat over Mueller report Trump suggests Heller lost reelection bid because he was 'hostile' during 2016 presidential campaign Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary MORE (R-Nev.) said earlier this year that he believes Kennedy will retire this summer.