SCOTUS charts

A few observations from these SCOTUS charts.

  • Gorsuch and the three liberals were less often in the majority this term; the other five remained consistent with last term.
  • Roberts and Kavanagh are almost never outside the majority.
  • Barrett hasn’t been doing much. She wrote the least number of opinions last year (8 ) and second least (behind Roberts) this year (12).
  • Kagan wrote a lot more this term (17) over the previous term.

In and of themselves, these observations don’t mean much but I find it interesting that my two favorite justices (Gorsuch and Kagan) are kissing across the orange-blue divide, and my second two favorites (Thomas and Breyer) the next closest to the middle. Confirms my opinion that these justices at least aren’t ruling as ideologues.


5 thoughts on “SCOTUS charts

  1. Barrett hasn’t done much because like a less bitter Kavanagh she was installed onto the Supreme Court with the sole purpose of overturning Roe, lol. Not surprised by that.

  2. One thing I noticed in your article about the individual rulings was that in every case that you highlighted the three liberals all voted in unison as a bloc. When you say that this confirms that they aren’t ruling as “ideologues”, I find the opposite to be true. Even if you look at their frequency with which they vote with the majority, there isn’t that much of a difference: Kagan 69%, Breyer 68% and Sotomayer 58%. The Conservative justices have a spread between 75%-95% of the time, so they are more varied.

    • I don’t believe Kagan rules as an ideologue. Her record over the years is clear in this regard. Breyer, maybe sometimes (and on the flip side Thomas sometimes), and I will fully grant that Sotomayor is an ideologue; her record is clear as day.

      The conservatives have had an impressive track record in the past few years for being more varied, as you say, and voting “out of character”, so to speak (except for Alito), but they sure didn’t look good this year. I would argue that the major rulings, about guns (which said that states cannot restrict their usage), prayer in public schools (which allowed an absurd amount of leeway for what constitutes a “private prayer” by a public employee), and criminal jurisdiction on Indian reservations (which said that Indians don’t have that jurisdiction if the crime was committed by a non-Native on Native territory) — all of these were activist (judiciary liberal) rulings, in other words that point to ideologues in action. The abortion ruling that overturned Roe was the only major ruling that can be called a proper originalist (judiciary conservative) ruling (much as I hate to admit it).

      • The Constitution clearly states that people have a right to bear arms. Beyond that your characterization of them saying that “states can’t restrict their usage is” is false. the ruling was that people don’t have to show a “special need” in order to exercise their constitutional rights. No other right outlined in the Constitution requires a “special need”.

        The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission has stated that people are allowed to pray at work. This was obviously done so that Muslims could pray at work, but you would have to extend this right to Christians as well (Equal protection clause). Once again, this was a case where the coach was praying after a football game, which is a voluntary event. No one was forced to pray with hi either.

        As far as jurisdiction on tribal lands, if a crime is committed, law enforcement should be able to investigate it, especially a murder. Should people be able to hide out from the law at a reservation?

  3. As stated previously, we have a different reading of the constitutional right to bear arms. As for the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, they are precisely the problem; they’ve been way too accommodating to Muslims in regards to religious practices in the workplace. Ensuring fair play to Christians simply legitimizes bad practices. I have no problems with those who pray on the job, if it’s not done in a prominent manner. (Whether it’s coercive or not is irrelevant.) A coach praying at mid-field after a game is still acting in his role as a public employee (whether he realizes it or not) for all to see. That’s not the same thing as praying at your desk or in the lunch room. It would be as if I, as a public librarian, conducted a library program in our theater, and when the program finished and people started to leave I began leading a prayer while still up on stage. That would be entirely inappropriate — and I’m sure the framers would have agreed — though now legal, thanks to the supreme court ruling.

    For tribal lands, the issue isn’t what I think law enforcement should be able to do, but what treaties have guaranteed until Congress says otherwise. The Natives should have sole jurisdiction over their lands, whether the crime is committed by Natives or not. If people don’t like that, it should be Congress who changes that, not SCOTUS.

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