We say farewell to Anthony Kennedy, but we already said goodbye to his Sacramento

“Justice Anthony Kennedy is arguably the most significant native son in Sacramento history. Before ascending to the highest court in the land, where for 30 years he was one of the most consequential jurists on the bench, Kennedy was born and raised here,” columnist Marcos Breton writes in the Sacramento Bee.

“But the Sacramento that shaped him doesn’t really exist anymore.

“He attended Crocker Elementary School, Cal Middle School and C.K. McClatchy High School. Kennedy practiced law here. He worshiped at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, and taught at McGeorge School of Law. He would return each summer and proudly proclaim his allegiance to his home in varied, endearing ways.

“Kennedy, who, at 81, announced his retirement Wednesday, grew more conservative than the city that raised him and celebrates him still. But Sacramento has fundamentally changed from the Sacramento that formed Kennedy. That old Sacramento is fading. It was a capital with a more conservative strain. It was more reserved, more homogeneous, more structured by a social pecking order where power, wealth and influence had a home base in the Land Park neighborhoods of Kennedy’s youth.

“This was Kennedy’s world, long before, say, Daniel Hahn, became the first African American police chief in Sacramento last year. It was before women were on the council. It was when the Sutter Club was all-male. It was when Sacramento was his world, not yours or mine.

“It is hard to imagine that a Republican will be elected to anything in the city of Sacramento ever again. But the exact opposite was true in the Sacramento of Kennedy’s youth. Republicans then were like the Republican Kennedy. They were sensible. They were not ideologues. They were not bellicose. They stayed in their own lanes and generally mixed with their own kind.

“But Kennedy maintained positive relations, even friendships, with people outside his circle because that’s how it’s done in a city where personal relationships remain paramount.

The rest of the article is here.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.

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