Media Advisory: UNH Law Expert Available to Discuss Retirement of Supreme Court Justice Kennedy


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Thursday, June 28, 2018
John Greabe head shot

John Greabe, a professor at the University of New Hampshire School of Law and expert in the area of federal courts, is available to discuss the impact of Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement on the Supreme Court.

John Greabe, a professor at the University of New Hampshire School of Law and expert in the area of federal courts and procedure, is available to discuss the impact of Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement on the Supreme Court, including whether constitutional rights to abortion and same sex marriage are at risk. According to Greabe, Justice Kennedy’s retirement provides President Trump with an opportunity to move the Supreme Court even further to the right. Greabe can be reached at (603) 344-1933.

“Although conservative, Justice Kennedy was a “swing” justice who sometimes voted with the court’s four more liberal justices,” said Greabe. “If President Trump replaces him with a new justice from the right wing of the ideological spectrum (as he has said that he intends to do), the court’s conservative faction is likely to prevail on closely-watched issues such as whether the federal courts should place limits on partisan gerrymandering and whether a person or business sometimes may be exempt from anti-discrimination laws on grounds of religious objection. Conceivably, the court also could revisit controversial precedents holding that there is a qualified constitutional right to an abortion and a right to marry someone of the same sex.” Justice Kennedy voted with the court’s more liberal justices to establish these rights.     

Because the Senate eliminated the filibuster for judicial appointments prior to confirming Justice Neil Gorsuch, and because Republicans control the Senate, Greabe said President Trump's nominee can be confirmed with Republican support alone.

“Barring some exceptional development, there is every reason to believe that the new justice will be seated before the court commences its 2018-19 term this coming October,” said Greabe.

Before becoming a full-time member of the UNH Law faculty in 2000, Greabe taught at Vermont Law School, had a federal appellate practice, and clerked for a number of federal appeals and trial judges within the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. He is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court; the United States Courts of Appeals for the First, Seventh and Eighth Circuits; and the United States District Courts for the Districts of New Hampshire and Massachusetts.