Judge Anthony Kennedy Sworn In as Supreme Court Justice

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NBC Nightly News
Tom Brokaw/Carl Stern
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Video News Report
NBCUniversal Media, LLC.
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After the failed nominations of Robert Bork and Douglas Ginsburg, President Ronald Reagan's third nominee, Judge Anthony Kennedy, is sworn in as Supreme Court Justice.



"Judge Anthony Kennedy Sworn In as Supreme Court Justice." Carl Stern, correspondent. NBC Nightly News. NBCUniversal Media. 18 Feb. 1988. NBC Learn. Web. 11 January 2020.


Stern, C. (Reporter), & Brokaw, T. (Anchor). (1988, February 18). Judge Anthony Kennedy Sworn In as Supreme Court Justice. [Television series episode]. NBC Nightly News. Retrieved from https://archives.nbclearn.com/portal/site/k-12/browse/?cuecard=3759


"Judge Anthony Kennedy Sworn In as Supreme Court Justice" NBC Nightly News, New York, NY: NBC Universal, 02/18/1988. Accessed Sat Jan 11 2020 from NBC Learn: https://archives.nbclearn.com/portal/site/k-12/browse/?cuecard=3759


Judge Anthony Kennedy Sworn In as Supreme Court Justice

TOM BROKAW, anchor:

A long search for an acceptable candidate finally ended today when Anthony Kennedy was sworn in as a Justice of the United States Supreme Court. He succeeds Lewis Powell who retired last June. Kennedy at 51 is the youngest member of the court and as NBC’s Carl Stern reports tonight, he may need every bit of his youthful energy to handle the job confronting him.

CARL STERN, reporting:

After almost 8 months and two failed nominations the vacancy on the high court was finally filled.

Chief Justice Rehnquist: So help me God.

Judge ANTHONY KENNEDY: So help me God.

STERN: Kennedy shed no new light on what kind of justice he will be.

Judge KENNEDY: I shall honor the constitution.

STERN: But the President saw good omens in the fact that Kennedy occasionally gave law lectures in a colonial costume.

President RONALD REAGAN: Anyone who teaches law in a powdered wig and a tri-cornered had is all right by me on original intent.

STERN: The day was largely ceremonial. There was family picture taking in the judge’s chambers, Chief Justice Rehnquist came outside to be photographed shaking hands with Kennedy.

But these soothing smiling moments could end quickly, Kennedy could propel the Court into major controversy as early as next week.

Two months ago abortion folds fell just one vote short of winning Supreme Court limitations on abortion in Illinois. A month ago, a 4-4 split narrowly preserved an important affirmative action plan involving New York City policemen.

Opponents of abortion and affirmative action have asked the Justices to re-hear and re-decide the cases now that Kennedy has arrived. His vote could suddenly and dramatically reopen both those issues.

During confirmation hearings Kennedy expressed some skepticism about affirmative action but revealed nothing about his view of abortion, he said a conclusion should not be drawn from the fact that he is Catholic.

Judge KENNEDY: It would be highly improper for a judge to allow his or her personal or religious views to enter into a decision respecting a constitutional matter.

STERN: Now that he is on the Court, Kennedy’s vote may control such matters sooner than expected. Carl Stern, NBC News at the Supreme Court.