(AP) Justice Anthony Kennedy says the Supreme Court is left to decide too many issues unresolved in the political arena.
The 77-year-old centrist from California is often the swing vote in high-profile 5-4 decisions. He says any nation that leaves its toughest issues for courts to decide is not a functioning democracy.
Kennedy is teaching this week at the University of Pennsylvania law school. He spoke Thursday evening to faculty members, a few days before the court's new term starts Monday.
Kennedy says the nation is in a period of "time compression," with changes in technology and social mores coming at stunning speeds. As an example, Kennedy says he never expected attitudes toward gay civil rights to evolve so quickly.