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Hollywood Left Mourns Justice Kennedy Retirement: ‘Mainly I’m Just Sad’

Stars lament Supreme Court Justice’s retirement and Trump’s ability to appoint his replacement

United States Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement Wednesday, opening up a second nominee to the high court for Donald Trump. If and when Trump nominates, and the Senate confirms, another conservative justice to the court, it’ll have far-reaching affects on the country for years to come.

Kennedy often served as the swing vote on the court between conservative and liberal rulings. He was probably most notable for authoring the court’s 2015 opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, the 5-4 ruling that the fundamental right to marriage is guaranteed to same-sex couples.

But with Kennedy announcing his retirement, many fear Trump’s next conservative appointee will tend to vote in favor of the government and against rights for citizens. Judging from a groundswell of reaction on Twitter, many fear that a conservative court will overturn rulings like Obergefell v. Hodges and Roe v. Wade, which struck down laws criminalizing abortion as unconstitutional.

Trump already appointed one conservative justice to the Supreme Court: Neil Gorsuch. The appointment came after obstruction by Senate Republicans, who refused to confirm Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s choice for the seat. Republicans blocked Garland for 293 days, hoping to leave the seat to be filled by a Republican president instead. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said then that American citizens should have a say in the appointment — and now some on the left are arguing that, with a midterm election in November, the same rules should apply to Kennedy’s replacement.

In Hollywood, the news that Kennedy was retiring brought a number of reactions, many of them lamenting the prospect of the Supreme Court becoming more conservative and the chances that rulings conferring key rights, like abortion, could be overturned. Others called for mobilization of voters to fight Trump’s agenda, and for Democrats to block any Trump nominations until after the midterm elections in November.

Of course, there were a few jokes about how important Hillary Clinton’s emails were to the 2016 election that ultimately put Trump in power.