Justice Kennedy’s White Nationalism

Russell K. Robinson - UC Berkeley School of Law
Vol. 53
December 2019
Page 1027

This Essay places frequently celebrated sexual orientation opinions written by Justice Anthony Kennedy into conversation with his opinions in immigration and national security contexts. This juxtaposition reveals the identity-based borders of the liberty and dignity that Justice Kennedy often valorized when gays and lesbian asserted their rights. A close analysis of Justice Kennedy’s final sexual orientation opinion, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, and the final national security opinion that he joined, Trump v. Hawaii, demonstrates that Justice Kennedy’s commitment to social hierarchy privileged the interests and perspectives of white, heterosexual Christians and ultimately harmed a wide swath of sexual, racial, and religious minorities.

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