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03-11-05, 05:51 AM
Justice Kennedy Finds God--in the Mirror

March 10, 2005

by Lee Duigon


Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy woke up one morning in the grip of a revelation.

"I am the swing vote on the court," he said aloud. "That means I can do anything I want--absolutely anything! And it's law for 290 million people!"

He rushed to the bathroom to stare into the mirror at his new god.

He pondered the enormity of it. For the rest of his life, he was free to impose his will upon a great nation. "My will be done!" he sighed.

Who could restrain him? In the entire history of the United States, no Supreme Court justice had ever been removed from office. Oh, some hothead in the House of Representatives might suggest impeachment, but it'd never fly in the Senate--not as long as there were Blue State senators who realized the courts were the last stand of liberalism. "If I go," Kennedy reflected, "they're finished. They're whole program is shot.

"Without me, there's no hope for gay marriage, affirmative action, and full Constitutional rights for foreign-born terrorists captured in Afghanistan. They haven't a prayer of getting any of that stuff past the electorate. They need me."

Admiring his image in the glass, Kennedy realized that from now on, only his own imagination had the power to restrain him.

Why confine himself to slanting his rulings to butter up the Europeans? "Okay, I made them happy when I declared capital punishment of minors unconstitutional. But there's a whole world out there to be made happy! Two hundred sovereign nations, 200 different law codes--somewhere out there, there's a law to back up anything I want to do.

"For that matter, why confine myself to nations of the here and now? What about Roman law? The Code of Hammurabi? Or the laws of Iceland in the 11th century?

"Why confine myself to the past and present, when I can intuit the law codes of the future? I'm always talking about 'evolving standards of decency.' Well, in whose mind do they evolve? Mine!

"Why even confine myself to Earth? There must be billions of planets in the universe: millions of 'em must have laws. And then there are imaginary planets..."

He paused to get a grip. After all, he could hardly expect to cast the swing vote every time. Sandy O'Connor would have to get a turn, not to mention Souter, Breyer, and Ginsburg. The other four justices, the stodgy ones, didn't count. Stevens had no imagination, Scalia and Thomas didn't know how to have fun, and Rehnquist was on his way out. Maybe the Senate could kill the clock until a new president (not George Bush!) could appoint a replacement for him--somebody who was ready to rock and roll.

Meanwhile, Anthony Kennedy wouldn't mind sharing his new-found deity with four soulmates. After all, Zeus wasn't all alone on Mount Olympus. If Zeus could share Olympus with Hera, Poseidon, Ares, and Athena, Kennedy could share with O'Connor, Souter, Breyer, and Ginsburg.

He grinned at his reflection.

"Good morning... Zeus!" he said.