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Old 04-03-2019, 01:49 AM
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septimus is offline
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It has become startling how many important Supreme Court cases are decided by a 5-4 vote. And it's almost always the same 5-4 alignment. For several years, the court consisted of 4 moderate or liberal judges, 1 right-of-center judge (Kennedy) and 4 right-wing judges. For many years there has been such a judge-in-the-middle who has essentially made all the important decisions himself! Before 2005 it was the centrist Rehnquist (appointed by Nixon, elevated to Chief by Reagan); since Kennedy's 2018 retirement it is Roberts. In the olden days, Roberts would be called a severe right-winger. In the new diction, we must call him "right-of-center" to distinguish him from haters, liars, and lunatics.

ALL of the following cases were decided 5-4. In ALL of these cases the 4 liberal/moderates voted the same way. In ALL of these cases the four right-wingers voted opposite to the moderates. In EVERY case the decision was decided by the Middle Judge — First Rehnquist or Kennedy, now Roberts.

Obergefell v. Hodges (right to same-sex marriage)
Montejo v. Louisiana (partial denial of right to counsel)
Padilla v. Kentucky (aliens must be advised of deportation risk)
Berghuis v. Thompkins (partial denial of right to remain silent)
Kennedy v. Louisiana (death penalty)
Citizens United v. FEC ("money is speech")
McCutcheon v. FEC ("money is speech")
Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. (struck down the contraceptive mandate)
Town of Greece v. Galloway (town hall prayer)
Zelman v. Simmons-Harris (vouchers for religious schools)
District of Columbia v. Heller (handgun bans disallowed)
McDonald v. Chicago (handgun bans disallowed)
Michigan v. EPA (weaken clean air act)
Bush v. Gore (prohibit Florida from counting ballots)
Husted v A Philip Randolph Institute — in a 5-4 vote (Kennedy joining the dogs) SCOTUS ruled that Ohio can purge its voter lists using a discriminatory procedure.
Abbott v Perez — in a 5-4 vote (Kennedy joining the dogs) SCOTUS overruled a lower court ruling that Texas gerrymandering to disenfranchise blacks and hispanics was illegal.
Epic Systems Corp v Lewis — in a 5-4 vote (Kennedy joining the dogs) SCOTUS decimated workers' rights to unionize or join class actions
Trump v Hawaii — in a 5-4 vote (Kennedy joining the dogs), Trump's anti-Muslim immigration policies became the law of the land
Janus v American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees — in a 5-4 vote (Kennedy joining the dogs) SCOTUS effectively installed "right to work" (actually the "right to scab") for the public sector.
National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v Becerra — in a 5-4 vote (Kennedy joining the dogs) SCOTUS ruled that crisis pregnancy centers were not required to tell women seeking help that abortion was a legal option.

Not enough examples? Here are some more; all 5-4; all with the hard-righters voting the same way: Correctional Services Corp. v. Malesko; Dusenbery v. United States ; Great-West Life & Annuity Ins. Co.; Kelly v. South Carolina; Ragsdale v. Wolverine World Wide, Inc.; Hoffman Plastic Compounds, Inc. v. NLRB; Mickens v. Taylor; Los Angeles v. Alameda Books, Inc.; Federal Maritime Comm'n v. South Carolin; McKune v. Lile; Carey v. Saffold; Rush Prudential HMO, Inc. v. Moran; Republican Party of Minnesota v. White; Sattazahn v. Pennsylvania; United States v. White Mountain Apache; Ewing v. California; Lockyer v. Andrade; Brown v. Legal Foundation of Washington ; Roell v. Withrow; Green Tree Financial Corp. v. Bazzle; Georgia v. Ashcroft; Stogner v. California; Jama v. Immigration & Customs Enforc; Smith v. Massachusetts; Roper v. Simmons; Jackson v. Birmingham Board of Education; Pace v. DiGuglielmo; Dodd v. United States; Rompilla v. Beard; Kelo v. City of New London; Bell v. Thompson; McCreary County v. ACLU; Brown v. Sanders; Central Virginia Community College v. Ka; Garcetti v. Ceballos; Hudson v. Michigan; Rapanos v. United States; United States v. Gonzalez-Lopez; Kansas v. Marsh; Ayers v. Belmontes; Lawrence v. Florida; Marrama v. Citizens Bank of Massachusett; Massachusetts v. EPA; Gonzales v. Carhart; Abdul-Kabir v. Quarterman; Brewer v. Quarterman; Smith v. Texas; Schriro v. Landrigan; Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber ; Uttecht v. Brown; Bowles v. Russell; Morse v. Frederick; Federal Election Commission v. Wisconsin; Hein v. Freedom From Religion Foundation; National Assn. of Home Builders v. Defen; Parents Involved in Community Schools v.; Leegin Creative Leather Products, Inc. v; Panetti v. Quarterman; Boumediene v. Bush; Dada v. Mukasey; Sprint Communications Co. v. APCC Servic; Medellin v. Texas ; Winter v. Natural Resources Defense Coun; Altria Group, Inc. v. Good; Herring v. United States; Summers v. Earth Island Institute; Bartlett v. Strickland; Entergy Corp. v. Riverkeeper, Inc.; 14 Penn Plaza LLC v. Pyett; Corley v. United States; FCC v. Fox Television Stations, Inc.; Ashcroft v. Iqbal; Haywood v. Drown; Caperton v. A. T. Massey Coal Co.; United States v. Denedo; District Attorney's Office for Third Jud; Gross v. FBL Financial Services, Inc.; Atlantic Sounding Co. v. Townsend; Horne v. Flores; Cuomo v. Clearing House Assn.; Ricci v. DeStefano

Originally Posted by Sam Stone View Post
In Roberts' case, he seems to be more interested in protecting the institution of the Court than stricto ideology. He has a history of voting against the other conservative judges in such situations, starting with his decision that Obamacare's mandate was constitutional.
Roberts always votes with the GOP when an election or a partisan survival issue is on the line. His vote for ACA might have been clever partisanship. Repealing ACA would be disastrous for millions of Americans, and disastrous for GOP electoral chances in the aftermath. The smarter GOPsters know that.

Roberts may be qualified to be a judge, unlike Kavanaugh, and isn't batshit insane. But it's laughable to imagine him as anything but right-wing. Oh! Here are two cases I overlooked above.

In Glossip v. Gross, Roberts joined Kennedy and the batshit wing to allow Oklahoma to torture convicts undergoing lethal injection. (Richard Glossip himself, by the way, is probably innocent but still waiting on death row as I type.)

And in breaking news just yesterday, in yet another 5-4 decision Roberts joined the batshit wing when "five justices of the Supreme Court authorized Missouri to torture a man to death."

If anyone thinks that "packing" on more judges could dishonor this Court, I can only laugh.

Last edited by septimus; 04-03-2019 at 01:51 AM.