Kennedy’s Supreme Court legacy is being erased, in part by past clerks

It is hard to deny the fact that, in recent years, Kennedy’s legacy on the Supreme Court has been overshadowed by the influence of conservative justices such as Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett. While Justice Kennedy still has a legacy of protecting civil rights, LGBT rights, and the right to an abortion, the Court has moved further in a conservative direction since he left. This shift has been largely enabled by Kennedy’s own former law clerks, who now largely serve as prominent advisors to the conservative justices. In fact, over half of clerks hired by the current conservative justices have previously clerked for Kennedy or for Justice Anthony Kennedy. The presence of Kennedy’s former law clerks in the heart of the conservative court is leading to an erosion of his previous influence, as they help shape policy and decisions.


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