Just curious. Do they always vote in lockstep?
They vote differently a lot more than people think. They were on different sides on the med. marijuana case for one example. Another example is Scalia supports the negative commerce clause as matter of stare decis, while Thomas wants it overturned.
Acording to Will Baude, in a recent term they agreed 73% of the time.
Hmm… interesting. I’ll bet someone could win several bar bets with those unexpected percentages.
That probably represents something different from what you were looking for. I think that number takes into account decisions where they reached the same result but through different reasoning.
Check out Thomas’ dissent in *Kelo v New London * if your interested in a case where they disagree
I agree with Baude that Thomas is not nearly the Scalia yesman he’s made out to be, but I would disagree that he’s the “more measured and judicial tone” and that he’s some sort of voice of reason who frequently calls for the elimination of “bad law.” To be frank, Scalia is just someone I often disagree with, but Thomas scares the crap out of me. See generally, Elk Grove Unified School Dist. v. Newdow, 542 U. S. 1, 50 (2004) (Thomas, J; opinion concurring in judgment).
Crap, I thought this was IMHO. That wasn’t probably wasn’t an appropriate GQ response; my apologies.
And to top it off, isn’t that wasn’t isn’t good grammar proper. Oy, what a day I’m horving!
Those *are * some interesting stats. Scalia and Thomas parted ways on the Yasser Hamdi case, IIRC, and the flag-burning case a few years ago, too.
Thomas wasn’t on the Court yet when Johnson (89) and Eichman (90) were decided.
Not flag-burning, but they did part company last year in a case involving cross-burning. Specifically, they disagreed on the Constitutionality of a Virgia law that held cross-burning to be prima facie evidence of intent to intimidate. Scalia (and the five justice majority that included Stevens, Breyer, O’Connor and Rhenquist) found that an incidence of cross-burning COULD be a protected form of free expression and that the state could not assume that cross-burning IN AND OF ITSELF is an act of intimidation. Thomas wrote a pretty strongly-worded dissent that cross-burning was conduct, not expression, and one that had been used to terrorize African-Americans for generations.
The case was widely commented on at the time due to the unusual right-left majority coalition and the Thomas dissent as the court’s only African-American justice.