The Liberal Meltdown Over Justice Kennedy Retiring

June 28, 2018

On Wednesday, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy caused seismic waves in the United States political system when he announced plans to retire.

Kennedy announced Wednesday he would retire, effective July 31, giving President Donald Trump the opportunity to make two appointments in two years to the nation's highest court. The vacancy sets up a bitter confirmation fight right before the midterm elections, where Republicans only have a single vote majority in the Senate. Despite the slim majority, Senate Republicans only need a 51-vote majority to confirm the Supreme Court nominee after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) changed the rules to allow it in the case of Supreme Court justice confirmations. McConnell's move followed the precedent set by former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) when he eliminated the filibuster for judicial nominees and presidential appointments back in 2013.

Kennedy's announcement spurred excitement among conservatives over the possibility of replacing the justice with a younger and more conservative nominee that could serve on the court for decades. Meanwhile, many liberals are distraught and having a meltdown because they have no procedural or parliamentary tools to stop Trump's nominee.

"Late Show" host Stephen Colbert said there was "no way to sugarcoat" the Kennedy news.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) said it was the end of the U.S. Constitution.

"Daily Show" comedian Trevor Noah said "all hope is dead."

MSNBC host Chris Matthews had a particularly hard time accepting the news of Kennedy's retirement and the reality Trump is hte president to nominate a replacement. He said the fight over the nomination will be similar to the "Spanish Civil War." He snapped at fellow MSNBC hosts. He warned Democrats that if they don't stop the nomination, the party will be "overthrown." During the Obama administration, Matthews praised Reid for using the so-called nuclear option, which did away with the filibuster, but now Matthews bemoans Republicans taking the same action to confirm Supreme Court nominees.

McConnell warned his Democratic colleagues they would "regret" using the nuclear option.