For John, BLUF: Democrats are apoplectic about President Trump perhaps being able to appoint another US Supreme Court Associate Justice, to be confirmed by Majority Leader Mitch McConell's Senate Majority. Nothing to see here; just move along.
Here is the sub-headline:
Over the past several sessions, Supreme Court Justices appointed by Democratic presidents voted in unison more than their Republican counterparts.
From USA Today, by Opinion Mr Ilya Shapiro, 10 September 2019.
Here is the lede plus four:
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.Our Nation's Capitol seems to be a place where analysis, although available, is not absorbed easily.
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.
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.
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.
Regards — Cliff