Retired Justice Kennedy says civic dialogue has reached 'a low point'

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Justice Kennedy

Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy retired in July, and was replaced by Justice Brett Kavanaugh, his former law clerk.

Retired Justice Anthony M. Kennedy says that Americans have “hit a low point in our civic dialogue.”

Kennedy spoke Friday at Stanford University in a question-and-answer session with law dean M. Elizabeth Magill, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Kennedy, a Stanford graduate, expressed concern about the political climate of anger and partisanship. “When we’ve hit a low point in our civic dialogue, which I think we have,” he said, it “should give energy to come upward.”

Kennedy said it’s our duty to use freedom of speech in a responsible and kind way, and “we’re not doing it.”

Kennedy didn’t specifically discuss the fight over the confirmation of his former law clerk, Brett Kavanaugh, who is now a justice, according to the Chronicle. He did say that senators are entitled to make political decisions about court nominees, “but they should remember that politics has an ethical underpinning.” He did not elaborate.

Kennedy expressed optimism about the court’s future. “I think in a very short time the court will show that it’s functioning. All the justices have a very great respect for each other,” he said.

Hat tip to How Appealing.

See also:

ABAJournal.com: Justice Ginsburg says Congress is the ‘obvious culprit’ in polarized judicial confirmation battles

ABAJournal.com: “In appearance celebrating pro bono, Justice Kagan expresses concern about views of politicized court”

ABAJournal.com: “Justice Thomas says judiciary ‘is not a puppet of those in power’”

ABAJournal.com: “Referencing Kavanaugh, Sotomayor says: ‘We are going to let these times pass’”

ABAJournal.com: “Former Justice Stevens announces his opposition to Kavanaugh; nominee makes his case in op-ed”

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