Emanuel blasts retiring Justice Kennedy as right wing ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’

SHARE Emanuel blasts retiring Justice Kennedy as right wing ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, left, speaks at the WSJ The Future of Everything Festival in New York City in May. (File Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images); Associate Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, right, joins other justices for an official group portrait at the Supreme Court Building in Washington. (AP File Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Retiring U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy may be known in Washington D.C. “cocktail party” circles as a “centrist” who provided the crucial swing votes that legalized gay marriage and upheld abortion rights.

But, Mayor Rahm Emanuel doesn’t see him that way. Not by a long shot.

To Emanuel — a former congressman who served as an aide to one president and chief-of-staff to another — Kennedy is a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” whose record should not shape the debate about who should succeed him.

“I’ve got to be honest. I don’t understand the whitewashing that’s going on. Everybody is calling him a great moderate,” Emanuel said during a live interview Thursday night on the WTTW-TV show, “Chicago Tonight.”

“This is the person that basically wrote Bush vs. Gore that gave you the Iraq War. This is the person that wrote Citizens United on [political] financing that gave you Sheldon Adelson and everything that he could purchase. This is the person that just gave you the Janus decision, undermining workers’ rights. This is not what a moderate is. This is basically a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

As a champion of gay marriage and a fierce protector of a woman’s right to choose, Emanuel says he appreciates the swing vote that Kennedy provided on those crucial issues.

But, the mayor maintained that Kennedy’s overall 30-year record on the nation’s highest court is not a record to be duplicated. It’s a record to be condemned.

“For everybody going, ‘I’m looking for somebody like a Justice Kennedy’ — no. I’m looking for a justice like Merrick Garland that President Obama offered,” only to have Republicans sit on the nomination, the mayor said.

“I do not buy the Beltway little cocktail talk about what a moderate or centrist [Kennedy was]. He was right on two cultural, very important issues. … [But] I’m not into whitewashing a person’s record that actually ended up being a right-wing record and that ended up being a wolf in sheep’s clothing. And when you look at the consequences of these decisions, he’s upside-down[ed] our democracy.”

Kennedy, 81, announced his retirement this week, effective July 31, setting the stage for President Donald Trump to make his second Supreme Court nomination.

That could solidify the high court’s conservative majority, provided Trump’s nominee can get a hearing and survive, what’s expected to be a bruising confirmation process.

An appointee of former President Ronald Reagan, Kennedy has long bristled at the “swing vote” label.

“The cases swing. I don’t,” he was once quoted as saying.


Chicago Teachers Union uses Janus case to blast Rauner, Emanuel

Read the Supreme Court opinion in Janus v AFSCME

Rauner, Janus to celebrate their victory on U.S. Supreme Court steps

Nation reacts to Supreme Court ruling in favor of Janus

In a blow to unions, government workers no longer have to pay ‘fair share’ fees

Gov. Bruce Rauner in Washington awaiting Janus decision

Who is Mark Janus?

Why our nation is watching Illinois case Janus v. AFSCME

Unions, anticipating Janus case Supreme Court loss, jump-start recruiting drives

Janus v. AFSCME: Rauner, Lisa Madigan and the Illinois case at the Supreme Court

Unions rally in Loop over ‘fair share’ case being heard before Supreme Court

Gorsuch deciding vote in key labor union funding case with Illinois roots

Trump administration takes Rauner’s side in ‘fair share’ case

Supreme Court to hear challenge to unions

Rauner happy with court’s fair-share review; AFSCME critical

Judge allows union-fee suit to proceed — without Rauner

3 state employees want to join Rauner lawsuit over ‘fair share’ union fees


EDITORIAL: Under assault from a politicized court, unions must prove their worth

Collective action is unions’ last defense – and high court on verge of ending it

Janus case is part of continuing attack on workers

Union ‘fair share’ fees protect all workers without infringing on free speech

DISCLOSURE NOTE: Some unions have ownership stakes in Sun-Times Media, including the Chicago Federation of Labor; Operating Engineers Local 150; SEIU Healthcare Illinois-Indiana and SEIU Local 1.

The Latest
Getz seems to be focused on further strengthening the minor-league system as the Sox continue their rebuild.
Samuel Cundari, 30, is charged with making threatening posts on X directed at the children of two state lawmakers, gun control groups and the Illinois attorney general’s office. He’s also accused of posting about a potential bomb at a Springfield LGBTQ festival.
The gambler, known industrywide as KrackMan or Krack, wrote: ‘‘I live in the supposed sports-betting capital of the world . . . but have to go to Florida to make bets.’’
Leaders including state Sen. Dick Durbin applauded the move as a path toward sustainability as weather threats and climate change become more common throughout Illinois.