We are a nation of Kennedys too soon gone. Anthony, thirty-two years a Supreme Court Justice, retired last week under peculiar circumstances. He disclosed no illness or flagging mental powers. He had hired clerks for the October term. He had been an active participant in his final term, not an old man limping across the finish line.
The Janus decision, undercutting the power of public employment unions on first amendment grounds, was followed directly by Kennedy’s terse statement, which offered no explanation for his abrupt leave-taking.
Snipers have focused immediately on the relationship of the Trumps and Justin Kennedy, former head of private banking at Deutsche Bank. Recently, Deutsche had been punished heavily for money-laundering. Furthermore, it had loaned Trump a billion dollars to finish construction on buildings that were tapped out. Trump had to pledge other assets to collateralize the loan.
There is no proof so far that Justin Kennedy was driving the financing. He may even had left the bank by then. The optics are bad but was there a problem?
Once a Supreme Court Judge has to explain – “I know how it looks” -it’s too late. It could’ve been nothing more than 45’s passing comment to Kennedy about Justin at the State of the Union-“He’s a nice boy”- to start the poor bastard rolling and tumbling. Kennedy quit long enough before the Midterms that his successor could be seated before the polls opened: a done deal.
Trump might’ve turned the screws . Kennedy had no other reason to go. It’s somebody else’s court but he was the judge most courted. As the swing vote, his support was pivotal to most of the decisions that electrified America in the last fifteen years.
Down he went, leaving 45 with daylight ahead. Kennedy left his legacy in unreliable hands for no apparent reason.
So, did he jump or was he pushed?