But our crack Village media has finally figured out that Bush's largest victory in his two terms was the appointments of Sam Alito and John Roberts to the Supreme Court.
In its first five years, the Roberts court issued conservative decisions 58 percent of the time. And in the term ending a year ago, the rate rose to 65 percent, the highest number in any year since at least 1953.Alito's replacement of O'Connor was the big flip, and Democrats played right along. Now the Roberts Court is reversing some eighty years of precedent and conservatives know they can break the dam with but one more to add permanently to the Alito-Scalia-Roberts-Thomas bloc instead of Kennedy's terribly mysterious dilettantism act.
The courts led by Chief Justices Warren E. Burger, from 1969 to 1986, and William H. Rehnquist, from 1986 to 2005, issued conservative decisions at an almost indistinguishable rate — 55 percent of the time.
That was a sharp break from the court led by Chief Justice Earl Warren, from 1953 to 1969, in what liberals consider the Supreme Court’s golden age and conservatives portray as the height of inappropriate judicial meddling. That court issued conservative decisions 34 percent of the time.
Four of the six most conservative justices of the 44 who have sat on the court since 1937 are serving now: Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Alito, Antonin Scalia and, most conservative of all, Clarence Thomas. (The other two were Chief Justices Burger and Rehnquist.) Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, the swing justice on the current court, is in the top 10.
The Roberts court is finding laws unconstitutional and reversing precedent — two measures of activism — no more often than earlier courts. But the ideological direction of the court’s activism has undergone a marked change toward conservative results.
Until she retired in 2006, Justice O’Connor was very often the court’s swing vote, and in her later years she had drifted to the center-left. These days, Justice Kennedy has assumed that crucial role at the court’s center, moving the court to the right.
When Kennedy does play ball, we get stuff like Citizens United. A more reliable conservative would pull the plug on a lot of things we take for granted right now. As it is, there's a better than even chance that Kennedy will side with the right anyway.
Boy it's a good thing Alito and Roberts aren't activist judges, huh? Great call on keeping your powder dry and only mustering 25 on that filibuster on Alito especially there Dems.