Gary Johnson

Gary Johnson Praises Anthony Kennedy, Unaware That Kennedy Voted for Eminent Domain Abuse in Kelo v. City of New London

"I didn't realize that Kennedy actually was part of that."



Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson recently paid a visit to the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal. Here is how Johnson responded to a question about the U.S. Supreme Court, according to the Journal's Joseph Rago:

Asked about his ideal Supreme Court justice, Mr. Johnson names Anthony Kennedy, "I guess." But what about Kelo v. New London, the 5-4 decision in 2005 that held eminent domain is more or less unlimited authority to confiscate private property—with Justice Kennedy writing for the majority? [Note: Kennedy did not write for the majority. He joined the majority and wrote a concurrence.] "That was horrible," Mr. Johnson says. "I didn't realize that Kennedy actually was part of that."

Good grief. Just last month Johnson described Kelo as a case that "really stands out as a litmus test" for judicial nominees. Assuming that Rago's account here is accurate, Johnson's failure to identify one of the justices who voted the wrong way in that case is not exactly inspiring.

On the other hand, unlike Donald Trump, Johnson at least knows that Kelo was wrongly decided.

Related: Gary Johnson and the Promise of Libertarian Constitutionalism