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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 13th July 2018 > Supreme Pain

Supreme Pain


For nearly three decades, Justice Anthony Kennedy wielded the critical swing vote on a polarized Supreme Court, siding with liberals on gay marriage and abortion rights while backing conservatives on campaign finance and gun control. But in a striking decision that could reshape the American legal landscape, the 81-year-old jurist announced his retirement on June 27. In a letter to President Donald Trump, he expressed “profound gratitude for having had the privilege to seek in each case how best to know, interpret and defend the Constitution and the laws that must always conform to its mandates and promises.” Trump has said he will nominate a conservative replacement (two women are on his short list), leaving Chief Justice John Roberts in the ideological center. The nomination process is all but certain to trigger an enormous fight over abortion; Trump pledged to work to overturn Roe v. Wade during his 2016 campaign. “If we put another two or perhaps three justices on,” he said during a debate, “that’s really what’s going to be. That’s what will happen.”

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OVER THE MOON When the world first learned of a historic summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the news didn’t come from a presidential tweet or a state-run media announcement. More than any other player in this diplomatic drama, South Korean President Moon Jae-in was most responsible for the historic meeting. Acting as mediators between Trump and Kim, he and his top aides had spent months encouraging, cajoling and flattering the two leaders into accepting the conditions that made their denuclearization talks possible. For Moon, the Singapore summit was a diplomatic and political triumph.In the wake of the meeting, polls showed Moon en-joying his highest approval ratings since his election in May 2017.