In Tribute: Justice Anthony M. Kennedy

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“So how are we doing?” Justice Kennedy asked at the start of my interview. At the time, the question seemed difficult to answer because, while the question was about the Court, the Court rarely differed from Justice Kennedy, at least in high visibility cases in recent years. With several years’ hindsight, however, the question strikes me as altogether perfect. The question provided the Justice the opportunity to introduce his law clerks to some of the attributes I came to associate with him most — an unparalleled ability to maintain civility, even while immersed in disagreement, as well as a belief in free speech and the exchange of ideas. And my answering the question now, on the heels of the Justice’s retirement, is fitting if only because it may test the limits of those principles.


Work published when author not on Michigan Law faculty. Originally published by the Harvard Law Review