US high court looks to travel ban ruling - and a possible retirement

2017-06-26 07:19
US Supreme Court. (iStock)

US Supreme Court. (iStock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - The White House declined to comment on Sunday on speculation that a pivotal US Supreme Court justice might announce his retirement on Monday, the last day of the high court's current session.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, who has cast the decisive vote in some of the court's most far-reaching decisions, turns 81 next month and is widely believed to be thinking of retiring.

When asked about that, White House adviser Kellyanne Conway told ABC: "I will never reveal a conversation between a sitting justice and the President or the White House, but we're paying very close attention to these last bit of decisions."

One of those decisions could come on Monday, if the nine justices are prepared to rule on a White House challenge to lower-court findings blocking Trump's attempt to limit travel from six predominantly Muslim countries.

The court could also delay its recess to allow more time to consider the case, or even put it off to the autumn  session.

Two federal appeals courts have so far ruled against the travel ban, with one saying it violated laws against religious discrimination and another finding that Trump had exceeded his authority on immigration matters.

The original ban and a later revised order, both blocked by courts, represented one of Trump's most controversial actions. They sparked global condemnation and threw travel from the targeted countries - Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen - into turmoil. Iraq was removed in the second version of the ban.

'Swing' vote 

Kennedy, who was appointed to the high court by President Ronald Reagan in 1988, has often cast a "swing" vote from the bench.

He typically sides with conservatives on economic matters, gun control and voting rights, but with liberal justices on social issues like gay rights, the death penalty and abortion.

It was Kennedy who wrote the decision establishing a constitutional right to same-sex marriage nationwide.

Speculation about a Kennedy retirement was sparked partly because he was slow to hire clerks for the court's next term.

If he does step down, Trump would have a chance to deepen his mark on the nation's judiciary with the opportunity to pick another nominee for a lifetime appointment to the bench.

His first nominee, Neil Gorsuch - once a clerk to Kennedy - joined the court in April.

Republicans hold a 52-48 majority in the Senate, and under rules they passed to expedite Gorsuch's confirmation they would need only a simple majority to fill the next court vacancy.

But a strongly conservative successor to Kennedy could push the court firmly to the right, and Democrats say they would fight such a pick fiercely.

"I expect Armageddon on the next one," Republican Senator Orrin Hatch said after the Gorsuch confirmation, "because that's going to change... the direction of the court" far into the future.

Read more on:    donald trump  |  us

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/World
 

For the love of Corgis!

WATCH: 35 Corgi's to make your day! If they’re good enough for the Queen of England they’re good enough for us.

 
 

Paws

Can we communicate with our pets?
8 great natural remedies for your pet
Buying a puppy? Don’t get scammed!
WATCH: These funny animal videos will make you LOL!
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.