"The Decider": Kennedy's legacy as a Supreme Court swing vote

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tags: Supreme Court, Anthony Kennedy, SCOTU

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With Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement, the Supreme Court will lose its key swing vote and a jurist who earned plaudits from both the left and the right for the weight he put on the rights to privacy, dignity and freedom of speech.

In his more than three decades on the high court, Kennedy was the deciding vote on a number of major cases that helped reshape the U.S. into a country where men and women had the legal right to engage in same-sex sexual activity in every state, where gay and lesbian individuals had the legal right to marriage, where the right of a woman to choose whether to have an abortion remained intact, and where free-speech protections were extended to corporations seeking to make financial expenditures for political campaigns.

"He was the decider — you could not win a case without Justice Kennedy," Tom Goldstein, who argued 41 cases before the Supreme Court before founding the popular court-watching  SCOTUSBlog in 2003, told NBC News.

Read entire article at NBC News

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