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Justice Kennedy, the pivotal swing vote on the Supreme Court, announces retirement

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Justice Anthony M. Kennedy announced Wednesday that he is retiring from the Supreme Court, a move that gives President Trump the chance to replace the court’s pivotal justice and dramatically shift the institution to the right, setting up a bitter partisan showdown on Kennedy’s successor.

“It has been the greatest honor and privilege to serve our nation in the federal judiciary for 43 years, 30 of those years on the Supreme Court,” Kennedy, who is stepping down July 31, said in a statement.

Kennedy, 81, joined the court in 1988 and has been its most important member for more than a decade. The Californian, who was chosen by President Ronald Reagan, has cast the deciding vote on the court’s controversial Citizens United campaign finance decision, the constitutional right to same-sex marriage and the continued viability of affirmative action.

On almost every major issue that has faced the court in recent years, neither the court’s liberal, Democratic-appointed justices nor Kennedy’s fellow ­Republican-appointed conservative colleagues could prevail without his swing vote.

His decision likely will make Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. the central justice on the nine-member court. Roberts, 63, has shown himself to be well to the right of Kennedy.

Washington could be in for an epic battle over Kennedy’s replacement. While Senate Democrats lack the numbers to deny the seat to whoever Trump chooses, they will ratchet up the stakes of the choice.

It will be the first time since Justice Clarence Thomas replaced Thurgood Marshall more than 25 years ago that a new justice could radically change the direction of the court. Since then, new members added to the court have replaced justices of the same general ideology.

Kennedy is a courtly presence on the court, with a gentlemanly demeanor and a jurisprudence based on the respect the Constitution provides for individual liberty and dignity.

He was a compromise choice for Reagan, who had first nominated the more controversial conservative Judge Robert Bork for the position. The Senate voted him down.

Kennedy has been a disappointment to the right, which has been unable to forgive his vote to uphold the basic underpinnings of Roe v. Wade, which guaranteed a woman’s right to choose an abortion. And Kennedy has written each of the court’s major gay rights decision, including Obergefell v. Hodges, which said the Constitution requires that gay couples be allowed to marry.

Liberals came to value Kennedy because he was the best they could hope for. But Kennedy most often votes with the court’s conservatives: He is further to the right on law-and-order issues than Justice Antonin Scalia was, he is comfortable with the court’s protective view of business, and he shared the losing view that the entire Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional.

His belief that campaign finance regulation often violates free speech was exemplified in his authorship of the opinion in Citizens United, which has opened the door for an explosion of big money in elections.

Whoever Trump nominated to fill Kennedy’s seat will likely share those views, but not his liberal opinions on social issues.

Trump convinced evangelicals and other conservatives to support him based on the next president’s ability to shape the Supreme Court, a promise he has already begun to fulfill. Early in his term, he successfully place conservative Neil M. Gorsuch on the bench, and he could have the chance to fill more openings.

Of the court’s four liberals, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 85 and Justice Stephen G. Breyer turns 80 this summer.

Gorsuch’s appointment returned the court to the status quo that existed before Scalia died. But a court without Kennedy would be a different place.

With Kennedy on board, a five-member majority struck down a Texas law that it said used protecting women as a pretext for making abortion unavailable, and the court continued a limited endorsement of affirmative action.

Many if not all of those holdings would be at risk in a court with five consistent conservatives, the oldest being 69-year-old Justice Clarence Thomas.

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Cardi B Files Countersuit Against Ex-Manager, Asking for $15 Million in Damages

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Prestige readers, the legal battle between Cardi B and her former manager is most definitely heating up.

Two months after Klenord Raphael, a manager known as “Shaft,” sued Cardi B for $10 million, the rap star countersued with a $15 million lawsuit.

Shaft’s lawsuit was filed in April, days after Cardi B’s Invasion of Privacy album became a huge hit, debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart. Shaft claimed he was “disappointed by her actions to freeze him out of her career” and sought 20% of Cardi B’s gross income. The lawsuit also alleged that Cardi B defamed Shaft in social media by accusing him of “robbing” her.

Cardi B’s countersuit filed Thursday seeks to render as void her contracts with Shaft. The lawsuit alleges that Shaft was “a self-serving and controlling personal manager” who breached “contractual and fiduciary duties to Belcalis Almanzar, an immensely talented and trusting young artist.” (Almanzar is Cardi B’s real name).

While Cardi B acknowledges having a contract with Shaft, her lawsuit argues that it was breached after WorldStar, which is Shaft’s company, failed to provide some of the services that they had agreed on, such as an independent business manager and certain payments that should’ve been made to her.

Cardi B is being represented by Paul LiCalsi, an entertainment attorney who has represented major artist such as The Beatles.

Cardi B recently became the first female rapper to have two songs that reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100: I Like It and the Bodak Yellow.

 

 

 

 

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Yvette Nicole Brown Replacing Chris Hardwick For ‘Walking Dead’ At SDCC

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Listening to the pleas of fans, AMC has asked mega-fan Yvette Nicole Brown to take over moderating The Walking Dead panel at Comic-Con later this month.

While the cabler hasn’t said anything publicly yet, Deadline has learned that the Talking Dead regular and Mom actor will replace long time TWD SDCC panel host Chris Hardwick on July 20. Hardwick was accused of emotional abuse and sexual assault by an ex-girlfriend last month. A frequent presence at the San Diego confab, the early afternoon panel for TWD and spinoff Fear The Walking Dead is Brown’s Hall H moderating debut for the AMC shows.

Details are still being finalized but the 11:15 – 1:15 gathering in the San Diego Convention Center’s biggest venue is expected to include Andrew Lincoln, Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Norman Reedus, FearTWD’s Kim Dickens, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Colman Domingo and Lennie James plus EPs Gale Anne Hurd, Robert Kirkman and new TWD showrunner Angela Kang among others. If past years are any indication also expect to learn the premiere date of the new season of TWD and see a sneak preview of what is expected to Lincoln’s final year on the show.

Though Hardwick denies the allegations from Chloe Dykstra, the Talking Dead frontman decided to “step aside” from his TWD and Doctor Who SDCC moderating duties on June 16, AMC announced After remaining mum for a few days, the cabler also said at the time that “while we assess the situation, Talking with Chris Hardwick will not air on AMC.”

The decision came at the 11th hour as Season 2 of Talking with Chris Hardwick was set to premiere on June 17.

Brown’s pick as TWD moderator for SDCC can now only raise speculation that the ex-Community actor will end up as the host of Talking Dead when it returns this fall along with Season 9 of TWD.

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Cardi B Makes History as First Female Rapper to Land Two No. 1 Singles

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Cardi B just accomplished something no other female rapper has done.

Thanks to her latest single, I Like It, the New York native is the first female rapper with two songs to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, the music magazine reported Monday.

The track featuring Latin music stars Bad Bunny and J Balvin was released in May, and is the latest single off Cardi B’s debut studio album, Invasion of Privacy.

It follows the release of club anthem Bodak Yellow (Money Moves), which climbed to the top of the Hot 100 in October.

Four other female rappers have previously landed No. 1 singles on the Hot 100, including Lauryn Hill with Doo Wop (That Thing) in 1998. Lil’ Kim had Lady Marmalade with Christina Aguilera, Mya and Pink in 2001. Shawnna was featured on Ludacris’ single Stand Up in 2003, and Iggy Azalea with Fancy featuring Charli XCX in 2014.

Before her album was released, Cardi B began to garner attention as a regular castmember on the VH1 reality series Love & Hip Hop: New York.

She is currently expecting her first child with rapper Offset of hip-hop trio Migos.

The two tied the knot last year, but never went public with their marriage until Offset let it slip on stage last month during the BET Awards that they are husband and wife. Cardi B has since confirmed the marriage on social media.

You can watch I Like It below….WARNING,  the video  contains profanity.

 

 

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