Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Monday, July 06, 2015

Four liberal justices in lockstep

Law prof Marty Lederman writes in Slate:
Two other things about this term are also noteworthy. As Tom Goldstein at SCOTUSblog has pointed out, the four justices on the left side of the court stuck together in a remarkable percentage of cases. Second, and relatedly, the three most conservative justices wrote a staggering number of separate dissenting and concurring opinions, in many of which they set forth views to the right of the court majority (see Eric Posner in Slate). Those three Justices wrote almost two-thirds of the 112 such opinions this term, and Justice Clarence Thomas alone wrote 30 of them!
The striking thing to me about these articles is that they treat the 4 liberals as not even having any opinions or theory of jurisprudence that is worthy of discussion. They are just assumed to vote according to ideological predictions, and no one even cares what reasoning they give.

People used to say that Thomas was too dumb to have his own opinions, and that he just signed onto what Scalia says. But with the liberals, no one even bothers to comment on how dumb they are. No one cares, as long as they are obeying the dominant liberal narrative in lockstep.

By contrast, each of the 5 conservatives is expected to have a coherent theory of jurisprudence, and to follow it. There is endless speculation, comment, and criticism about how well they do it, and how they differ from each other.

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