From his previous rulings, it can be gathered that he is tough on issues of crime and it can also be gathered that he opposes creation of constitutional restrictions about the police. In particular, he opposes creation of constitutional restrictions in Fourth Amendment cases that involve illegal drugs searches, even though there are certain exceptions to this. It is clear he balances interests of the state with that of the individuals (Nyden 14). Justice Anthony Kennedy has had firm and somewhat predictable positions in past cases involving privacy and equal protection. His positions have largely been informed by his conceptualization of liberty that to him includes some protections to individuals.
His concept of liberty includes protections for controversial issues such as sexual orientation. In the 1996, he wrote a Supreme Court’s opinion in the case of Romer v Evans where he invalidated a Colorado Constitution’s provision that denies homosexuals the right of bringing claims on local discrimination (Ward para 8). His commitment for equal protection is also evidenced by the opinion he wrote in 2003 in the case of Lawrence v Texas.
In this case, he invalidated criminal laws that are against homosexual sodomy based on the United States Constitution’s Due Process Clause thereby overturning the previous court ruling in Bowers v Hardwick in 1986. In both cases, Justice Kennedy sided with the members of the Court who were more liberal (Barnett 33). Justice Kennedy has often demonstrated his resolve for equal protection in his past cases (Colucci para 5). He joined the conservative wing in a case that related to strip searches of detainees which the court ruled that those of offenders who have been detained and admitted to the general jail population may be subjected t strip searches necessarily without a reason of suspecting contraband.
He wrote in his opinion that every detainee who has been admitted to the general population can be required to go through a close visual inspection even while they are undressed. In addition, he has joined with the majorities in the Supreme Court in decisions that favor rights of the states and invalidating state and federal affirmative action programs. In the controversial case of Bush v Gore in 2000, he ruled with the majority on the grounds of Equal Protection; the case stopped the recount of the 2000 presidential election and effectively ended the legal challenge to President Bush’s election (Colucci para 7).
From his positions in past cases, it is clear that he has favorite concerns on states’ rights and in promoting equal protection.
ACS National Convention. Planned Parenthood v Casey. 2013. Web. 24 Mar, 2013. < http://www.acslaw.org/acsblog/all/planned-parenthood-v.-casey>
Barnett, Randy. Justice Kennedy’s Libertarian Revolution: Lawrence v Texas. 2003. Web. 24 Mar, 2013. < http://www.randybarnett.com/pdf/revolution.pdf>
Colucci, Frank J. Justice Kennedys Jurisprudence: The Full and Necessary Meaning of Liberty. 2009. Web. 24 Mar, 2013. < http://www.bsos.umd.edu/gvpt/lpbr/subpages/reviews/colucci0110.htm>
Duke Law. Lawrence v. Texas: States may not prohibit private homosexual activity between consenting adults. 2003. Web. 24 Mar, 2013. < http://web.law.duke.edu/publiclaw/supremecourtonline/commentary/lawvtex>
Legal Information Institute. CITIZENS UNITED v. FEDERAL ELECTION COMM’N ( No. 08-205 ). 2010. Web. 24 Mar, 2013. <http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/08-205.ZO.html>
Nyden, Jeanette. Anthony M. Kennedy: A Study of His Judicial Opinions. 1990. Web. 24 Mar, 2013. < http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1299&context=uhp_theses>
Schaeffer, Jarrod. The Incorporation of Democracy: Justice Kennedy’s Philosophy of Political Participation in Citizens United. 2011. Web. 24 Mar, 2013. < http://www.bu.edu/law/central/jd/organizations/journals/bulr/documents/SCHAEFFER.pdf>
Supreme Court of the United States. (2013). Bibliographies of Current Justices of the Supreme Court. 2013. Web. 24 Mar, 2013. < http://www.supremecourt.gov/about/biographies.aspx>
Ward, Artemus. Anthony M. Kennedy. 2013. Web. 24 Mar, 2013. < http://www.csuchico.edu/~award/Kennedy.htm>