That influence came with a certain price. Over the years, Kennedy has been denounced by every major faction in American politics. In conservative circles, for example, he has been keelhauled as a reckless judicial activist who “invented” a right to gay marriage. Liberals, meanwhile, have burned him in effigy as the unwitting mouthpiece for corporate oligarchs thanks to his majority opinion in the Citizens United case. And among libertarians, Kennedy has been damned as the fair-weather federalist who torpedoed the rights of local medical marijuana users in favor of a federal drug control scheme. Libertarians will also point out that Kennedy joined the majority opinion that unleashed the forces of eminent domain abuse in Kelo v. City of New London (2005).
To say the least, Kennedy’s jurisprudence defies easy categorization. Legal scholars will be arguing about it for a long time to come….In short, thanks to Kennedy’s retirement, all hell is about to break loose.
And the media is already counting the receipts.