Bong hits 4 Kennedy

The Justice’s voting record speaks ‘centrist’

• Kennedy was an author for the majority opinion in Bush v. Gore, the roundly criticized decision that stopped the disputed 2000 recount in Florida and allowed George W. Bush to take the electoral votes that made him president.

• In Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, Kennedy joined with the court’s liberals to invalidate the military tribunals the Bush administration had arranged for the detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

• Kennedy has written two important pro-gay rights decisions. In Lawrence v. Texas, he helped strike down state sodomy laws for homosexuals.

• Last term, Kennedy ruled to let a school principal suspend a student for off-campus satire (remember the kid across the street from school with the “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” sign?).

• In a 5-4 vote, Kennedy helped the conservatives overturn a century-old antitrust case that allowed manufacturers to reach price-fixing agreements with retailers. The decision was seen as anti-consumer rights.

• In Roper v. Simmons, Kennedy ruled to declare the death penalty unconstitutional for juvenile offenders.

• In a case involving the federal power to regulate wetlands, Kennedy refused to join either side, but wrote his own opinion that legal analysts seemed to think favored the ability to use regulatory powers on behalf of the environment, thus upholding the Clean Water Act.