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    Default Liberal Supreme Court justices vote in lockstep, not the conservative justices

    Politics
    Liberal Supreme Court justices vote in lockstep, not the conservative justices
    USA TODAY Opinion Ilya Shapiro, Opinion contributor,USA TODAY Opinion 8 hours ago

    Ever since Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement last year, commentators have prophesied that President Donald Trump’s replacement of that moderate jurist would lead to a conservative majority running roughshod over core liberal concerns. That’s why opposition to the milquetoast establishmentarian Brett Kavanaugh was so fierce, even before the 11th-hour sexual-assault allegations.

    Justice Kavanaugh was supposed to have single-handedly overturned Roe v. Wade, but a funny thing happened on the road to apocalypse. Particularly in petition rejections and other procedural votes, Kavanaugh has demonstrated a pragmatic approach. And a term with few big controversies showed the liberals voting together much more than the conservatives.

    Legacy: Justice John Paul Stevens exemplified a dignified, reserved Supreme Court

    Liberal justices vote together at high rates
    There were 67 decisions after argument in the term that ended in June. In those cases, the four justices appointed by Democratic presidents voted the same way 51 times, while the five Republican appointees held tight 37 times. And of the 20 cases where the court split 5-4, only seven had the “expected” ideological divide of conservatives over liberals. By the end of the term, each conservative justice had joined the liberals as the deciding vote at least once.

    That dynamic isn’t something that sprang up in the Trump era or with the court’s newest personnel. In the 2014-15 term, with Kennedy at the height of his “swing vote” power —the last full term before Justice Antonin Scalia’s death and resulting year-long vacancy — the four liberals stuck together in 55 of 66 cases, while the four conservatives (not counting Kennedy) voted as a unit in 39.

    The U.S. Supreme Court

    Even in 2013-14, when liberals and conservatives voted with their respective coalitions equally (54 times in 67 cases), 42 of those decisions were unanimous and there were only ten 5-4 rulings. In other words, when conservative justices vote together at the same rate as their liberal counterparts, it’s because the entire court is united.

    Speaking of politically fraught cases that end up 5-4, it’s notable that there's never a question of how the liberal justices will vote. Speculation runs rampant over whether one of the conservatives will go wobbly — whether out of unpredictable moderation, minimalistic pragmatism or idiosyncratic theory — but the liberals are guaranteed to please their constituency.

    Conservatives side with liberal justices
    Most famously, of course, in 2012’s National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, Chief Justice John Roberts transmogrified the individual mandate into a tax to save Obamacare. Roberts did a similar thing twice this past term, in cases regarding the census citizenship question (Department of Commerce v. New York) and judicial deference to administrative-agency reinterpretations of their own regulations (Kisor v. Wilkie).

    Gerrymandering decision: Ruling is a constitutional victory

    Such intramural fractures often reveal lively intellectual debates that one rarely sees on the left. For example, Justice Neil Gorsuch has joined the liberals five times in 5-4 decisions, four of them this past term alone — with Gorsuch typically writing for the majority or concurring separately without adopting the liberal reasoning. These have mainly been criminal law cases, where Gorsuch’s originalism shines through to the benefit of criminal defendants in the same way Scalia’s often did — to the surprise of those who weren’t paying attention.

    Indeed, Gorsuch is rapidly becoming a libertarian darling even as Kavanaugh steers down the middle of the road. Kavanaugh actually aligned himself as much with Justices Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan as with Gorsuch. The Trump appointees voted the same less often in their first term together than any other two justices appointed by the same president, going back at least to President John F. Kennedy. Meanwhile, Obama appointees Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor were together in all the 5-4 cases this term.

    The Ginsburg Four
    Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg speaks at Georgetown University on July 2, 2019.

    In sum, if lockstep voting and a results-driven court concern us, it isn’t the conservatives we should be worried about. While senators, journalists and academics love decrying the Roberts Five, it’s the (Ruth Bader) Ginsburg Four that represent a bloc geared toward progressive policy outcomes. To be sure, a reinvigorated conservative grouping may yet come to dominate the court — especially if Trump fills another seat — but it hasn’t happened yet.

    Ilya Shapiro is director of the Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies at the Cato Institute. Follow him on Twitter: @ishapiro

    You can read diverse opinions from our Board of Contributors and other writers on the Opinion front page, on Twitter @usatodayopinion and in our daily Opinion newsletter. To respond to a column, submit a comment to letters@usatoday.com.

    This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Liberal Supreme Court justices vote together more than conservatives
    That glaring truth/revelation is one of the reasons why this nation has come to be in the lower state that it exists in today.
    Namely the socialist dem party's(and its globalist ally) assault upon our Constitution, this Representative Republic and our freedoms!
    Dem/lib judges vote as a leftist/liberal/socialistic political unit- and thus openly and gladly break the oath they swore..
    But hey, that is just par for the course-- right?
    I mean it has been going on strong for well over 45 years now.
    Yet now that Trump may get to appoint more justices-- the left-the dems are crying foul!
    As if they havent been shafting this nation and we citizens up the ass for at least 5 decades and on!
    This article makes that plain to see and yet no a damn thing will ever happen to these treasonous dem politicians-- think about that--they engage in open treason with utter and complete impunity, with insured immunity and with mainstream media and the gullible public's blessing and its media induced brainwashing..
    A fact- a very sad, very dangerous and immensely, sad fact, IMHO.--Tyr
    Last edited by Tyr-Ziu Saxnot; 09-10-2019 at 12:42 PM.
    18 U.S. Code § 2381-Treason Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.

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    It continues to amaze me that liberal and conservative judges can look at the law and come to such completely diverse conclusions. You would think a law is crystal clear. But it all boils down to majority and word manipulation.
    If the freedom of speech is taken away
    then dumb and silent we may be led,
    like sheep to the slaughter.


    George Washington (1732-1799) First President of the USA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SassyLady View Post
    It continues to amaze me that liberal and conservative judges can look at the law and come to such completely diverse conclusions. You would think a law is crystal clear. But it all boils down to majority and word manipulation.
    One group wants to correctly interpret the Constitution, while the other side wants to change it to fit the liberal/dem agenda.
    That is why one can see the quite glaring and hypocritical divide.
    A divide that the dem party seems to think is a religion with them.
    They are pro-abortion, pro racial stirring division(between blacks and whites) and pro- sexual perversions, anti-Christian, anti-patriotic, anti-decency, anti-American....
    One side operates with dishonor/deceit and breaking their oath of office, the other side operates with intent to render what the Constitution was intended to do, to be for this nation.
    One side wants to weaken destroy it, the other wants to uphold it.
    Dems are basically liars, corrupted and without any true empathy to fellow man. They exist to overcome this nation, its freedoms and its founding.
    They have installed their dishonorable justices.
    The divide in the court is because of this decades long operation by the dems to corrupt it to further their political agenda. A fact.
    A very, very sad fact., a very, very, very dangerous reality in regards to this nation's future, and in regards to its existence, IMHO..-Tyr
    Last edited by Tyr-Ziu Saxnot; 09-11-2019 at 05:39 AM.
    18 U.S. Code § 2381-Treason Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.

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    Kind of makes you wonder if Kavanaugh gave some behind the scenes promise(s) to the Dem committee members during the hearings.

    To Sassy’s point, when you read case after case in law school, especially those that involve serious Constitutional issues, after a short while you can pretty much predict how any particular Justice will rule, and even the probable reasoning he or she will use.

    And there is very little that is black or white. Not even in the highly regulated fields.
    After the game, the king and the pawn go into the same box - Author unknown

    “Unfortunately, the truth is now whatever the media say it is”
    -Abbey

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    Quote Originally Posted by Abbey View Post
    Kind of makes you wonder if Kavanaugh gave some behind the scenes promise(s) to the Dem committee members during the hearings.

    To Sassy’s point, when you read case after case in law school, especially those that involve Constitutional issues, after a short while you can pretty much predict how any particular Justice will rule, and even the probable reasoning he or she will use.

    And there is very little that is black or white. Not even in the highly regulated fields.
    For me what is black and white is the fact the dem party pursues a liberal/socialistic agenda that directly confronts, opposes and attacks our Constitution, our freedoms. Thus the justices they put in place are vetted to be hardcore devotees to the dem party and its agenda.
    Look at the trash the obama put in-- and lets just look at one glaring example-- the supposed great female justice that refused to recuse herself from the obamacare case when the court took it on.
    Any sane person must see she had a hand in getting it into law while serving her master the obama-- yet she did not recuse herself from judging the case. Shows a compete lack of honor and a true character as to her motives- and very likely the major reason the obama placed her there.
    And I myself predicted that ahead of time, that the scum obama placed her there to to do just that, vote to uphold his unconstitutional obamacare crap. Soto is no better and Ginsberg -I can not say enough bad things about.-Tyr
    18 U.S. Code § 2381-Treason Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Abbey View Post
    Kind of makes you wonder if Kavanaugh gave some behind the scenes promise(s) to the Dem committee members during the hearings.

    To Sassy’s point, when you read case after case in law school, especially those that involve Constitutional issues, after a short while you can pretty much predict how any particular Justice will rule, and even the probable reasoning he or she will use.

    And there is very little that is black or white. Not even in the highly regulated fields.
    I have to concur. I've often felt and have used such a lesson plan, that when teaching the constitution students should read at least 2 SCOTUS cases with the opinions of both the majority and minority. There is logic behind both, usually. (Exception IMO, the majority in Roe v Wade, but even there, the making up of law is obvious).

    I'm not saying that both sides are equally logical, they're usually not, but a logic is there. There are reasons that there are the rare times that SCOTUS overrules its own decisions.
    “The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults.” De Tocqueville



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    Quote Originally Posted by Kathianne View Post
    I have to concur. I've often felt and have used such a lesson plan, that when teaching the constitution students should read at least 2 SCOTUS cases with the opinions of both the majority and minority. There is logic behind both, usually. (Exception IMO, the majority in Roe v Wade, but even there, the making up of law is obvious).

    I'm not saying that both sides are equally logical, they're usually not, but a logic is there. There are reasons that there are the rare times that SCOTUS overrules its own decisions.

    Very true, now in the lower courts, anything goes. I mean when some jack ass federal judge rules that one President can't cancel an EO that another President enacted, for example. It's pretty damn obvious what's going on. But at the Supreme Court level , regardless of what some even who post here would like you to believe the Justices all have some logic behind their votes in MOST cases. I see that a poster or two here is calling RBG a piece of shit, for example, but the reality is she's an intellectual giant and knows far more about the COTUS than those posters could ever dream of knowing, even at her age, let alone when she was in her prime. She simply has a different opinion about the role of the courts than I and many others.

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