Don't Count on the Supreme Court Balance Changing
Posted at noon on Nov. 7, 2012
President Obama’s reelection assures that the Supreme Court won’t flip from a divided institution to a solidly conservative court, but Lyle Denniston debunks claims that it guarantees a more liberal court.
“Even assuming some change in the court’s membership over the next four years, a re-elected President Obama—assuming that he genuinely wants a major makeover of the court—is likely to wind up quite disappointed… One factor that probably makes it far less likely…that the Roberts Court will take on a decidedly more liberal complexion is that there literally are no justices left on the court who could be counted upon to be as liberal as were the dominant justices during the years under Chief Justice Earl Warren.”
“What might be called a ‘liberal bloc’ on the present court is made up of—in the order of their seniority—Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan. Even assuming that one or two of the court’s more conservative members leaves the court in the next four years…any liberal makeover certainly would have to begin with most if not all of the members of the present ‘liberal bloc.’”