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Justice Kennedy, as GOP scourge?

From MSNBC.com's Tom Curry
"This session of the Supreme Court has been a winner for child rapists and terrorists."

That is what John McCain's best buddy in the Senate, Sen. Lindsey Graham, said in a statement today about the Supreme Court's 5-to-4 ruling in the Louisiana death penalty case. (The two Bush appointees on the court, Roberts and Alito, were in the minority.)

The decision, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, struck down the Louisiana law that permitted the death penalty for those convicted of raping a child.

The word "terrorists" in Graham's statement was a reference to the high court's June 12 Boumediene decision which struck down a central part of the 2007 Military Commission Act and gave prisoners at Guantanamo the right to habeas corpus.

That decision, too, was written by Justice Kennedy.

In one sense, it is all due to the blocking of the Bork nomination in 1987 which led to the nomination of Anthony Kennedy, who on days like today is the most powerful man in Washington.

In case anyone might have missed the point Graham added in his statement: "One of the major issues facing our nation is the future makeup of the Supreme Court."

As I wrote back in 2005, there is "a lesson in this for presidents and those who help them select Supreme Court nominees: when your first candidate fails, and your second surprises you with an awkward episode from his past, you can end up with someone whose decisions you'll live to regret for 20 years and more. One of the most conservative presidents in American history wound up placing on the high court a judge who turned out to be in some casesĀ -- from the conservative perspective -- alarmingly liberal."