Monday, August 3, 2015

Speaking of Justice Breyer...

Image result for u.s. supreme court 

According to Dean Chemerinsky's latest article in the Cal Bar Journal, U.S. Supreme Court: A Year Unlike Any in Recent Memory, the "justice most often in the majority" this past term was Justice Breyer: "He voted in the majority 92 percent of the time. He also was the justice most often in the majority in 5-4 decisions."
Dean Chemerinsky notes that in his decades of court-watching, he "cannot remember a Supreme Court term with so many liberal victories in major cases."
The easiest explanation is that Anthony Kennedy voted with the liberal justices much more often than in any prior term. There were 13 cases that split 5-4 along ideological lines, and in eight of them Justice Kennedy joined Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. In five of them, Justice Kennedy joined Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito. By contrast, over the first nine years of the Roberts Court, Justice Kennedy joined the conservatives about 70 percent of the time when the court was ideologically split 5-4. 
Dean C's next LA appearance is at the Century City Bar Association's program next week:
Seventh Annual Constitutional Law Luncheon with Dean Erwin Chemerinsky
Thursday, August 13, 2015 - 12-1:30 pm

The Supreme Court's Current Term and Implications for the Future

"Don’t miss Dean Erwin Chemerinsky deliver what promises to be another enjoyable and enlightening discussion of recent US Supreme Court decisions."

Too serious for you? Then check out Supremely Funny: Funniest Moments from the Supreme Court's 2014 Term from BNA:
Boston University Law School professor Jay Wexler has spent the last decade tracking how funny the justices are by counting each “[Laughter]” they get. He said “this term was like all others”—Supreme Court funny man Justice Antonin Scalia got the most laughs, followed by a “not-so-close” second, Justice Stephen G. Breyer.
However, Wexler said that “below the top two there were some interesting results.”
Justice Elena Kagan “finally started living up to her [laughter] potential by tying” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. “with 18 [laughs] for the year,” he said. “This was the first time since Justice Roberts took the bench that he was not all alone in third place.”
“Also, Justice Alito shockingly had a good year” with nine [laughs], Wexler said. But Justice Sonia Sotomayor “disappointed a bit” with only three.
“Finally, Justice Ginsburg totally rocked out” with two [laughs], which Wexler said is about one or two more than usual.
Listen to the Supremely Funny podcast here: