The Court’s New Swing Vote

A USA Today story about Anthony M. Kennedy’s swing vote on the Supreme Court describes the justice as “a bespectacled 70-year-old Everyman.”

Of 11 rulings this term decided by 5-4 votes on the key issue, Kennedy was the only justice in the majority in every case, the newspaper reports. The 20-year court veteran “may be the most important justice Americans don’t know,” the story says.

Kennedy’s April opinion upholding a ban on so-called partial birth abortions was the most controversial case this term, the newspaper says. He also provided a fifth vote authorizing the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate auto emissions.

Kennedy’s votes in pending cases on school integration and campaign finance could swing the court in a more conservative direction, the article concludes.

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