Members of Carichoff Law Group, P.C. attended lunch today with United States Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy. Put on by the Sacramento County Bar Association to celebrate its 100th anniversary, the lunch featured Justice Kennedy speaking about three aspects of the rule of law. First, “The Law is superior to the government, and it binds the government and all officials to its precepts.” Second, “The Law must respect and preserve the dignity, equality, and human rights of all persons. To these ends the Law must establish and guard the constitutional structures necessary to build a free society in which all citizens have a meaningful voice in shaping and enacting the rules that govern them.” Third, “The Law must devise and maintain systems to advise all persons of their rights, and it must empower them to fulfill just expectations and to seek redress of grievances without fear of penalty or retaliation.”
Justice Kennedy is the most senior and influential justice on the court. He is frequently the “swing” vote in cases where the court’s four conservative and four liberal justices find themselves at odds over how a case should be resolved.
Born in Sacramento, Justice Kennedy eventually took over his father’s legal practice in town following his graduation from Harvard Law School. He was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit by President Gerald Ford in 1975. He was appointed to the United States Supreme Court by President Ronald Regan and won unanimous confirmation from the United States Senate in 1988.