The Supreme’s and their own politics….

A lonk at the politcal and legal doings of the US Supreme Court for this tem…..

* Supreme Court opinions are indeed very long.

* The ideological rift between the majority and the minority is really, really strong. Judges are supposed to base their decisions on legal materials and the proper roles of the branches of government, but the current justices mostly gesture at them; they can hardly maintain consistency from one day to the next.

* I’m exaggerating a bit. There are plenty of unanimous opinions. But mainly about things no one cares about.

* Scalia really does love rules. But I can’t tell how seriously he takes originalism. Compared to the other justices’, his decisions are the least predictable based on what appear to be his ideological predilections, though they are still pretty predictable.

* Breyer is also somewhat unpredictable based on ideology. But in contrast to Scalia, I can’t tell what drives his counterideological votes. The mirror image of Scalia, he loves to decide cases by balancing things. The more things, the better.

* Kennedy is a libertarian. Meaning that he’s (somewhat) liberal on social issues and occasionally skeptical of the executive, and conservative on everything else. He almost certainly thinks that striking down UT’s affirmative action program and striking down DOMA are warranted by the same legal principles, and believes that those who celebrated him Wednesday (for gay marriage) and vilified him Monday (for affirmative action) are hypocrites. In opinion after opinion, he tries but fails to explain how he derives his libertarian holdings from the Constitution. His DOMA opinion is the opinion that dare not speak its name……

More….

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