of the United States Supreme Court
, having been appointed by President Ronald Reagan
in 1988. Since the retirement of Sandra Day O'Connor
, Kennedy has often been the swing vote
on many of the Court's politically charged 5–4 decisions. Conservatives have felt betrayed by some of his decisions, but other observers say he reaches conservative results more often than not.
Kennedy was born and raised in Sacramento, California
, the son of Anthony J.
Sometimes you don't know if you're Caesar about to cross the Rubicon or Captain Queeg cutting your own tow line.
We must never lose sight of the fact that the law has a moral foundation, and we must never fail to ask ourselves not only what the law is, but what the law should be.
In the federal confirmation process, a standard question from the judiciary committee is, "Well, if you're confirmed will you legislate?" And, with a look of horror, the nominee says, "Oh, I won't legislate." Well, what about the law of contract and tort; where do they think it came from, the stork?
Our system presumes that there are certain principles that are more important than the temper of the times. And you must have a judge who is detached, who is independent, who is fair, who is committed only to those principles, and not public pressures of other sort.