Justice Kennedy is now 74 years old. He, on occasion, sides with the originalist wing of the Supreme Court. And indeed, but for Kennedy, the Second Amendment would not today be an individual right. Were Obama to have the opportunity to replace Justice Kennedy, it would fully tip the balance of the Court to the activist wing, perhaps for years to come. And the question has now arisen, when will Kennedy retire?
You will recall Obama's unconscionable decision, at the State of the Union address, to demagogue the Supreme Court over the issue of the Citizen's United case as Justice Kennedy and several other members of the Court looked on from the seats. Both Justice Alito and Justice Roberts have since indicated their displeasure with Obama's choice of forum for his remarks as well as his spinning of their decision. Justice Kennedy was silent on the issue.
Perhaps he responded with a message to Obama on the issue today. According to sources close to Kennedy, when asked about his plans for retirement, he responded that he plans to stick around "a few more years." Only Kennedy himself can tell us definitively whether Obamas' decision to attack the Supreme Court was a motivating factor in his decision. But it would not be unreasonable speculation to think that Obama's decision at the State of the Union may have weighed on Kennedy's decision to stay "a few more years." That has the distinct ring of 2013 to it. Way to go, Obama.