In 2016, while Scalia is no longer present to impose his bigoted opinions on marginalized groups, Justice Kagan, concerned about bias, abstained from weighing in on the case due to her former position as the Solicitor General. Her recusal indefinitely evened out the Court’s polarized ideological spectrum and drew light to Justice Kennedy’s surprising shift in viewpoint – one more closely associated with Justices Ginsburg and Sotomayor. Nonetheless, Kennedy’s “betrayal” of his conservative colleagues is not new; he assented during the groundbreaking Obergefell v. Hodges case in 2015, which ruled that same-sex couples must be issued marriage licenses and recognition under the Fourteenth Amendment. The Justices closed on a 5-4 decision in Obergefell and 4-3 in Fisher, with Kennedy as the victory-defining vote in each case.
While part of me hopes that Margaret Atwood’s next novel is about Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan spiking Kennedy’s drink with a tablet that instills him with common sense, another more practical part of me believes that this is a sign of America’s evolving proclivity towards the progressive agenda. Indeed, racial activism has peaked on college campuses – incubators of the nation’s next generation of leaders – and in current polls Trump is losing. My optimism could prove dangerous (hubristic, even) but nobody can deny the justice the Supreme Court has put forth in the past two years.
-- Julia Smith