Statement re: Retirement of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 27, 2018
Contact: Dorothy He
(872) 600-9517 / dhe@napawf.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement from the court. Despite being a moderately conservative judge, Justice Kennedy was widely known for casting the swing vote in many key Supreme Court decisions that enshrined gender equality and reproductive access, such as as Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, the most important case in decades affirming abortion rights, and Obergefell v. Hodges, which guaranteed the right to same-sex marriage.

NAPAWF Executive Director Sung Yeon Choimorrow issued the following statement in response:

“NAPAWF is incredibly distraught at news of the impending retirement of Supreme Court Justice Robert Kennedy. Justice Kennedy’s retirement will enable the Trump administration to push an even more extremist conservative judicial nominee to the Court. Over the coming decades, the next Justice — who has a lifetime appointment — will have a hand in deciding cases that will impact millions of women, people of color, LGBTQ communities, and low-income individuals across the country. After President Trump’s promises to nominate staunch anti-choice justices such as Justice Neil Gorsuch, the threat against Roe v. Wade has never been more imminent. Moreover, the protection of LGBTQ rights, voting rights, immigrant rights and other freedoms at the crux of reproductive justice will be at risk of being severely undermined.

“The Supreme Court’s decisions shape American history, for the better or for worse. The famous Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992) decision, which reaffirmed Roe v. Wade, upheld that a Pennsylvania law requiring pregnant women to ensure spousal awareness before obtaining an abortion was invalid under the Fourteenth Amendment. Loving v. Virginia (1967), another groundbreaking case, legalized interracial marriage. However, the Court has also upheld legislation that history has looked back on in shame. For instance, the decision in Korematsu v. United States (1944) upheld the constitutionality of Executive Order 9066, which mandated that Japanese Americans — regardless of citizenship — be sent to internment camps during World War II. The impact and repercussions of such cases have significantly altered the course of American history, and we fear for the future precedents that will be set with an extreme Trump nominee in the the highest court of our land.

“Today’s news about Supreme Court Justice Kennedy’s retirement, while devastating, should motivate us to continue resisting and taking action. The call to keep fighting for our communities has never been stronger, and we must elevate judicial nominees who will represent our values and denounce those who violate them. NAPAWF stands firm in our commitment to organizing and advocating for the rights that ensure reproductive justice for all Americans.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement from the court. Despite being a moderately conservative judge, Justice Kennedy was widely known for casting the swing vote in many key Supreme Court decisions that enshrined gender equality and reproductive access, such as as Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, the most important case in decades affirming abortion rights, and Obergefell v. Hodges, which guaranteed the right to same-sex marriage.

NAPAWF Executive Director Sung Yeon Choimorrow issued the following statement in response:

“NAPAWF is incredibly distraught at news of the impending retirement of Supreme Court Justice Robert Kennedy. Justice Kennedy’s retirement will enable the Trump administration to push an even more extremist conservative judicial nominee to the Court. Over the coming decades, the next Justice — who has a lifetime appointment — will have a hand in deciding cases that will impact millions of women, people of color, LGBTQ communities, and low-income individuals across the country. After President Trump’s promises to nominate staunch anti-choice justices such as Justice Neil Gorsuch, the threat against Roe v. Wade has never been more imminent. Moreover, the protection of LGBTQ rights, voting rights, immigrant rights and other freedoms at the crux of reproductive justice will be at risk of being severely undermined.

“The Supreme Court’s decisions shape American history, for the better or for worse. The famous Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992) decision, which reaffirmed Roe v. Wade, upheld that a Pennsylvania law requiring pregnant women to ensure spousal awareness before obtaining an abortion was invalid under the Fourteenth Amendment. Loving v. Virginia (1967), another groundbreaking case, legalized interracial marriage. However, the Court has also upheld legislation that history has looked back on in shame. For instance, the decision in Korematsu v. United States (1944) upheld the constitutionality of Executive Order 9066, which mandated that Japanese Americans — regardless of citizenship — be sent to internment camps during World War II. The impact and repercussions of such cases have significantly altered the course of American history, and we fear for the future precedents that will be set with an extreme Trump nominee in the the highest court of our land.

“Today’s news about Supreme Court Justice Kennedy’s retirement, while devastating, should motivate us to continue resisting and taking action. The call to keep fighting for our communities has never been stronger, and we must elevate judicial nominees who will represent our values and denounce those who violate them. NAPAWF stands firm in our commitment to organizing and advocating for the rights that ensure reproductive justice for all Americans.”


The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) is the only multi-issue, progressive, community organizing and policy advocacy organization for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women and girls in the U.S. NAPAWF’s mission is to build a movement to advance social justice and human rights for AAPI women and girls.