Until two months ago, Leonard Leo was among the unambiguous winners of the Trump era. The bookish lawyer and architect of the conservative legal movement has spent the past three and a half years executing his decades-long vision of remaking the federal judiciary—he was instrumental in the Supreme Court appointments of Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch. But during the Court’s term this summer, an old conservative nightmare recurred: Republican-appointed justices, including Gorsuch, aligned with their liberal colleagues on big, consequential decisions about immigration, abortion, and LGBTQ protections.In recent decades, conservative justices have consistently moved to the left once reaching the bench: Anthony Kennedy, who was nominated by Ronald Reagan, routinely cast the deciding vote against social conservatives on gay rights. Conservative-movement stalwarts have never forgiven David Souter, the George H. W. Bush appointee, for voting to uphold the constitutional right to abortion in the 1992 decision Planned Parenthood v. Casey,… ..... Read More.
2 weeks ago