JUSTICE ANTHONY KENNEDY
- THE EXISTENTIALIST PHILOSOPHER
The retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy was appointed to the Supreme Court by president Reagan. Kennedy was supposed to be a conservative judge appointed by a Republican president. History tells us, it didn’t work exactly this way. Justice Kennedy turned out to be a swing vote that sided with the liberal wing in the court. Some court observes dubbed him as a “neo-liberal”.
There are no more liberal voices in philosophy and the social movements in society than the Existentialists who flowered in France and Europe in the mid-20th century. The loudest banner carrier among them was Jean-Paul Sartre.
In his opinion on the case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey Justice Kennedy wrote about freedom:
“The right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life…”
For all I know, it is the best concise definition of existentialism I have ever read.
On the question of personal liberty Justice Kennedy stated:
“Indifference to personal liberty is but the precursor of the state's hostility to it.”
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