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Multicolored Lemur

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Atheist / Agnostic
Nov 23, 2021
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President Bush appointed 2

President Obama appointed 2

President Trump appointed 3

President Biden appointed 1

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For a total of 8. So we don’t have a couple of them who have been there 30+ years.

Justice Clarence Thomas is the longest-serving of the current Nine, having been appointed by President Bush, Sr. on July 8, 1991, and confirmed by the Senate on Oct. 15, 1991.

I think Justice Thomas is larger a loner. And Chief Justice Roberts is maybe an effective day-to-day leader. Chief Justices sometime are and sometimes aren’t.

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Who are the Justices whose beliefs are roughly in the middle of this group of 9?

And/or the sociable ones good at working with others who are informal leaders?
 
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This might help (couldn't get the entire picture on there but you can view it here at Axios):
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Source: Data: Martin-Quinn scores; Chart: Simran Parwani/Axios
 
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Based on the chart in the last post, looks like Roberts is more to the middle with Kavanaugh coming in second. And honestly, I don't think we should be surprised that many of these justices are not at the center. I think that has to do with the way they are picked with both sides trying to pack the court with justices that would favor their side. The vote of the independents don't matter (in contrast to regular elections by US citizens) because there are little to no independents in Congress to vote for these justices. In contrast, in general elections, independents tend to balance things out because they are like 40% of the electorate in some states.
 
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This might help (couldn't get the entire picture on there but you can view it here at Axios):
1688398012170.png

Source: Data: Martin-Quinn scores; Chart: Simran Parwani/Axios
I just don’t believe Justices Barrett, Kavanaugh, and Gorsuch are in the middle because the Dobbs decision of 2022 was such a jarring decision.

It reversed Roe v. Wade to such an extent that even some women whose fetus had died had trouble getting an abortion.

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Maybe the “Overton window” had shifted?
 
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from 1978 —


“ . . . But this year Blackmun abandoned Burger 30% of the tune, Powell 26%. Together with Justices John Paul Stevens, Potter Stewart and Byron White, they form an uncertain and searching middle core, sometimes balancing, sometimes just unpredictable.

Burger and his closest ally, Rehnquist, now stand increasingly isolated on the right, while Justices Thurgood Marshall and William Brennan hang onto the Warren tradition on the left. . . ”

— analysis article from the next week’s TIME

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And what a line-up!

That late 1970s Court seemed to be —

5 Centrists

2 Conservatives

2 Liberals

Almost my “Dream Team”!

Well, maybe not entirely in that Harry Blackmun and Lewis Powell leaned to the right. But what an improvement on today. :)
 
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“In his concurrence in Morse v. Frederick, the ‘Bong Hits for Jesus’ case involving the question of when public school students can be disciplined for expressive behavior, Justice Thomas displayed his ability to understand and explain the deeper importance of a legal rule. The gist of Justice Thomas’s concurrence is that the Constitution should not govern this question, and that students should be disciplined when teachers and school administrators think the discipline is needed. Children, I take Justice Thomas to be saying, are not adults and schools are not mini-democracies or public forums. The purpose of schools is learning, not talking. No doubt it is sometimes good for children to speak their minds, but there are plenty of children who do that quite enough, and it’s sometimes also good for them to shut up and listen. When they should speak and when they should be quiet is, while they’re in school, for their teachers, and not the courts or the children themselves, to decide.”

===

“Professor Nicole Garnett (a former Justice Thomas law clerk), gave me part of the answer: “He does boring law,” she said. What I took her to mean is that Justice Thomas, unlike at least some of his colleagues, does not think that the technical intricacies of arbitration jurisprudence and application severability are beneath the attention of a Supreme Court Justice. Even when he is writing something that will not be reprinted in a constitutional law casebook or analyzed in a law review article, he insists on getting it right. It's an attractive trait.”

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In in the first case, okay, the 1st Amendment and Freedom of Speech is for adults, not children. Even though teenagers can be a difficult edge case. And schools do not have the primary purpose of a public forum. Alright, understandable views.

In the second case, Okay, he’s willing to get in there and do the boring cases. And yes, that’s an appealing trait.

=============

I want to pick the two longest-serving and maybe the two shortest-serving of the current Justices and say something good about each one.

No guarantee I’ll finish this project! :)



Later edit — I do think teenagers should have more productive activities open to them than sitting in algebra class or working a customer service job.
 
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I just don’t believe Justices Barrett, Kavanaugh, and Gorsuch are in the middle because the Dobbs decision of 2022 was such a jarring decision.

It reversed Roe v. Wade to such an extent that even some women whose fetus had died had trouble getting an abortion.

=========
Unfortunately, I've only kept up with a few of the big cases, although I do remember the last 3 or 4 justices being questioned by Congress as part of their nomination process. Now that I really think about it, I'm at least surprised that Justice Kavanaugh is more closer to the center compared to a lot of his other colleagues. But what I glean more from the chart overall is if Kavanaugh is rated as being less extreme and/or partisan, what does that say about the rest? They are even more partisan and/or extreme?

The example that you bring up about Justice Thomas is a good one. I think the partisanship would come out more when it comes to hot button issues, like on abortion, marriage, etc. Mundane issues that are not as polarizing, like school discipline, I think a lot of the justices would probably set their partisanship aside.


In a concurring opinion overturning Roe v. Wade, Justice Clarence Thomas said that the Supreme Court should reconsider opinions protecting same-sex relationships, marriage equality and access to contraceptives.
Source: https://www.axios.com/2022/06/24/clarence-thomas-same-sex-marriage-contraception



Maybe the “Overton window” had shifted?
That's an interesting concept. That's why it's good to learn something new!
 
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“including 69 percent of Trump voters, who don't have the stomach to watch folks who've built crime-free lives in America with their grit and hard work hauled away from family and friends into detention camps and deported to countries they don't know.”

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“Dreamers” are people who were brought to the United States as children illegally by their parents.

Yes, that’s a name by people who support their cause.

Anyway, the Supreme Court may have been doing President Trump a favor. But the President didn’t perceive it that way! Or, at the very least he felt he had to make a public show in a tweet.

This is from Summer 2020,

Covid Summer.

Chief Justice John Roberts was part of a 5 - 4 majority which ruled that the Trump administration had to at least follow the steps in the “Administrative Procedures Act” if they wanted to end DACA.

DACA — Deferred Action Against Childhood Arrivals
 
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“including 69 percent of Trump voters, who don't have the stomach to watch folks who've built crime-free lives in America with their grit and hard work hauled away from family and friends into detention camps and deported to countries they don't know.”
Couldn't agree more!(y)

I hated seeing Dreamers being used like a political football or as some bargaining chip. I just couldn't imagine being a Dreamer and worrying about your fate which may end bad depending on who is elected president.[
 
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