Swingers of the Supreme Court


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After Chief Justice Roberts switched his position on ObamaCare, the media has been hailing him as a new swing vote on the Supreme Court. But that would make him just one of many swing vote justices who were appointed by Republican presidents.

In the last forty years the majority of Supreme Court Justices were chosen by Republican presidents. Nixon alone nominated four Supreme Court justices and Reagan nominated three.  But that did not turn the Supreme Court to the right, as the left claims. Not only have Supreme Court justices nominated by Democratic presidents moved to the left, but those nominated by Republican presidents have also often moved to the left.

When a Republican president chooses a nominee for the Supreme Court, there is at least a 50 percent chance that the nominee will move to the left once on the bench. Of the three justices nominated by Reagan, only one could be considered a reliable conservative voice. Of the two justices nominated by George H.W. Bush, only one, Clarence Thomas, could be considered a reliable conservative voice. It would not be surprising at all if this track record turns out to have held steady with the justices nominated by his son.

The same, however, cannot be said of the two justices nominated by Clinton or those two nominated by Obama. No one would ever accuse Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor or Elena Kagan of being promiscuous swing votes. Not when Sotomayor has voted with her Clinton administration predecessors 90 percent of the time. The liberal bloc of the Supreme Court has functioned as a steady voice for the left without the ire and accusations that the far more fragile conservative bloc has received for daring to occasionally defend the Constitution.

Conservative justices are expected to show their open-mindedness and integrity by voting with the left, but liberal justices are not told to prove their bona fides by voting with the right.

Liberal justices are praised for sticking to their principles while conservative justices are praised for abandoning theirs. The more consistently a justice votes with the left, the more consistently he or she is celebrated by the press.  Justice Ginsburg, who votes furthest to the left of anyone in the court, is praised as a moral leader, while her counterpart, Justice Alito, is demonized for voting to the right. That sends the message that the only safe way to vote is to the left, which makes swing votes inevitable.

With a nine-member Supreme Court, five of whom were appointed by Republican presidents, a solid bloc divide would lead to a conservative court that upholds the Constitution. But the solid bloc divide has never existed, with justices from the right crossing the line to the left. After Justice O’Connor retired, Justice Kennedy became the swing vote to the liberal bloc. And on ObamaCare, when Kennedy chose to do the right thing, Justice Roberts became the swing vote.

With Kennedy and Roberts, the Supreme Court has two swing votes from the conservative bloc, but there is no corresponding swing vote on the liberal bloc. If the left had a majority on the Supreme Court, there would be very little chance that the progressive agenda would ever lose a case because its justices have shown superior voting discipline.

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  • Amused

    Great article Greenfield , a true insight for the uninformed [duped ] on the conservative mindset and its reactionary positions against anyone or anything that questions or contradicts it's ideology . Denigrate and lie about those political opponents with your own assumptions and supopositions on how and why they think or do things that come up against the famous conservative "my way or the highway " destructive attitudes not a-typical to conservatives . Anyone not conservative is evil , a commie , a socialist or traitor . Gee where did that mindset come from ? Great job Greenfield ..,and true to form .

  • Amused

    LOL…of course it must . "be approved " that is . makes me wonder though , do mr.beans Amos and Andy routines go through the same "screening " ? LOLOLOL

    • fiddler

      YOU are irrelevant. You are amusing to the rest of us.

      • Anmused

        coming from you fiddler , all I can say is ….get a room with mr.bean ….you deserve each other .

    • mrbean

      Amused should learn this. One of the most eloquent symptoms of the moral bankruptcy of today's culture, is a certain fashionable attitude toward moral issues, best summarized as: There are no blacks and whites, there are only grays." If there is no black and white, there can be no gray–since gray is merely a mixture of the two. Before one can identify anything as "gray," one has to know what is black and what is white. In the field of morality, this means that one must first identify what is good and what is evil. And when a man has ascertained that one alternative is good and the other is evil, he has no justification for choosing any part of that which one knows to be evil. In morality, "black" is predominantly the result of attempting to pretend to oneself that one is merely "gray." That is exactly what Justice Roberts has done in regards to his concious refusal in upholding his oath to to support and defend the Constitution..

      • Amused

        mr.bean , you are the last one that should be pontificating as a moralist on anything to anyone . You've already proven yourself AS TO WHAT YOU ARE . Now go get that room with fiddler .

        • Looking4Sanity

          I sincerely hope that I meet you one day in person.

          • HPD

            Are you making veiled, unsupportable threats AGAIN.??
            I'm still waiting for LT. Greenjeans from the State police in Virginia, to come arrest me for making fun of you on the old Big Government site….. from which you've been ostricized..

            You and 4Constipation..

            I still have the email comments…They are priceless..

            Loser..

          • Looking4Sanity

            Take your meds, loony tune.

  • Arnun

    Heck, we can't even count on Elana Kagan to be a swinger when it comes to recuseing herself when there is a clear conflict of interest.

  • HPD

    "With Kennedy and Roberts, the Supreme Court has two swing votes from the conservative bloc, but there is no corresponding swing vote on the liberal bloc. If the left had a majority on the Supreme Court, there would be very little chance that the progressive agenda would ever lose a case because its justices have shown superior voting discipline."

    The so-called 4thEstate, who are supposed to hold political figures feet to the fire and display a modicum of intellectual curiosity, have become nothing nothing more mouthpieces for the Left, whose insane "progressive" rantings, reach even the Supreme Court Justices…

    • Looking4Sanity

      GFY…A.

      • HPD

        Oh look everyone, the hate-filled, fake christian, jingoistic, blowhard has decided to return from the the rock he's been hiding under.
        How have you been 4Constipated insanity?

        I'd like to say you were missed, but I'd be lying.
        I see you were able to scrounge up enough aluminum cans to get your dial-up internet turned back on
        How's your miserable life been?
        Btw…you're even more unpopular than Obama…

        • Looking4Sanity

          You will find that your creeping misogyny and unmedicated mental disorders will not be tolerated here, Dripper.

          • HPD

            Oh look everyone, the hate-filled, fake christian, jingoistic, blowhard has decided to return from the the rock he's been hiding under.
            How have you been 4Constipated insanity?

            You should unblock me on your site, so we can "talk" more..

          • Looking4Sanity

            Take your meds, you loony tune.

          • HPD

            You must come over to Navy's site…
            where all are welcome…

            well, except you…and 4Constipation..

            I'm still waiting for the Sheriff to show up …what's taking so long??

          • Looking4Sanity

            Keep your head in the echo chamber. you'll feel better that way.

  • Atlas_Collins

    Free Men only agree to abide by law, they are not bound by it. When the social contract upon which the structure of law is built is contravened then the collective consent of the governed gives way to tyranny.

    When the structure of law becomes odious to liberty it becomes the duty of Free Men to defy it.

    Omnes Tyranni Sunt Delendi!

    • Looking4Sanity

      Sic Semper Tyrannus!

  • fiddler

    If there is a silver lining, Roberts forced liberals to EAT the fact that funding for ACA was always a TAX. And now they have to swallow it whole.

    It may be "sweet" to the taste, but it is bitter in the belly.

    • Looking4Sanity

      I fear it may be the bitter pill that we ALL must swallow. May God's Will be done…and may it be done quickly!

  • fiddler

    This amused character loves to throw his head back and laugh, buying wholesale that liberal justices can be as partisan as they want to and are protected by a selectively-reporting media and a pervasive "opinion" that seeks to control language.

    I think though this ruling may have just knocked over a hornet's nest.

    • Looking4Sanity

      Let them fly! It's long past time to resolve this…and many other issues as well. Patriots can destroy in an instant what it took Commies 100 years to build!

  • amused

    No schmuck , I laugh at the whole process of advise and consent when thr political assssholes on both sides of the isle get into their sickening approval process regading SCOTUS appointees , and fginally thinking they';ve got tyheir way , it get thrown right back in their faces .Then to listen to all the whining and handwringing and backpeddling that goes on here by people like you , it's hilarious and I do indeed throw my head back and laugh…HA HA HA HA HA HA HA ….that's the way it goes CHUIMP …now you deal with Roberts and his decision , and remember ….he'll be their a long long time BWAAAAAHAHAHAHA …and what ??? LOL….a hornets nest ?? More like an ant hill dont you think . They're "controling language" now are they ? What a misguided schmuck you are fiddler !

    • Looking4Sanity

      FY,A.

      • Amused

        GFY – do it now .

        • Looking4Sanity

          Still suffering from delusions of grandeur, I see. Good luck with that, loser!

  • marios

    Interesting that that "wonderful" Obamacare apply only to us, common people-taxpayers. Obama, Government, Congress, Unions are exempted. What country we are living? How it could be that one law for those who are suppose to serve us, voters-taxpayers but behave as they are Kings dynasty family and another for citizens of the same country. Is it any amendment in Constitution that all law should apply to all citizens but not divide them for elite, aristocrats and citizens-their slaves?

  • Reason_For_Life

    The dominant philosophy in American colleges is leftist. The dominant legal philosophies in law schools are progressive-leftist. Oliver Wendell Holmes, the arch-progressive is a hero. James McReynolds, consistent defender of capitalism and individualism, is known only to be spat at.

    Given this environment the left leaning justices experience no pressure and no challenge to their beliefs from the legal community. The others must deal with calumny on a regular basis. Don't be surprised if the judges who don't accept the received wisdom of the left are the only ones getting hammered.

    • Looking4Sanity

      It falls to us to take back the system then, doesn't it? Are you ready to fight for what's right? Because that's where we're headed. Count me in.

  • Looking4Sanity

    Now is not the time for humor.

    Our Judicial system has abandoned us for political profit.

    Our "President" has all but officially declared himself Dictator of America.

    I do NOT anticipate fair elections this November…and IF that be the case? To arms, my fellow Americans! TO ARMS!

  • Amused

    BTW you just supplied enough humor to last the rest of the week . The ELECTORATE will decide the next POTUS , not conservative mind-f–ked morons like you . Better go find your sanity before you get yourself arrested .

  • mlcblog

    I still think he was strong-armed by O's thugs, Chicago style.

    • Amused

      nd struck on the noggin' because his brain ain't working anymore .

  • Schlomotion

    A two page article detailing how something is insignificant. I have to ponder this.