The Volokh Conspiracy

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"Roberts has also been in the court's majority more than any other justice, at 98 percent of the time."

From SCOTUSBlog's Interim Stat Pack

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

At SCOTUSBlog, Adam Feldman released the interim stat pack. Chief Justice Roberts is firmly in control of this term:

Roberts has also been in the court's majority more than any other justice, at 98 percent of the time. Kavanaugh is close behind at 96 percent, followed by Justice Neil Gorsuch at 87 percent. Roberts has also been the only justice in the majority in all eight of the court's 5-4 decisions. Kavanaugh has authored the most 5-4 opinions so far this term, with three; Justice Samuel Alito authored the other two signed 5-4 opinions.

Roberts has been in the majority in 46 out of 47 argued cases. Kavanaugh has been in the majority in 44 out of 46 cases. (He recused in one case). Justice Thomas has only been in the majority 72% of the time.

This term, Roberts has authored zero concurrences and zero dissents in argued cases. Justice Kagan has also authored zero dissents. In contrast, Justice Thomas wrote eight concurrences and eight dissents.


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25 responses to “"Roberts has also been in the court's majority more than any other justice, at 98 percent of the time."

  1. This is further proof Roberts has no inner compass. He just wants to be the lead character in the All-about-me show.

    His attempts to save the Supreme Court from politics are mostly having the opposite effect.

    1. I think he has accurately figured out that pissing off conservatives causes complaints, while pissing off left-wingers causes riots and burning buildings.

      And he lives in a building.

      1. ^^^^WINNER!!!!!

        1. You guys are nuts. He’s the median vote. The median vote always ends up in a lot of majorities. Kennedy did, so did O’Connor before him.

          1. Hmmm …. where was Roberts while Kennedy was the median vote? Sure wasn’t sidling right up next to him.

            Roberts wants as little drama as possible, to be as boring as possible, and thinks that he has to replace Kennedy to ensure that.

            Roberts reminds me of that old joke about the most boring man in the world. But as soon as you find him, he is no longer boring, and you have to search again. Moral of the story: there is no such person. Roberts apparently never heard the joke.

            1. Roberts cast his Obamacare vote while Kennedy was still on the Court.

      2. His summer place is on Hupper Island, 70 miles from Leftist-Infected Portland, ME — in a small town with no police force.

      3. Brett, assuming that to be true — and I’m far from convinced that it is — why would you suppose that to be the case?

  2. Is Roberts in firm control? Perhaps. There are several different ways to read this.

    What does stick out are the overwhelming percentages of conservative justices being in the majority. Even during the Warren era the “losing side” (in those days, the conservatives) were in the majority in most of the important cases. This Court, though, is in the grip of a noncompromising majority.

  3. Hence “Blue June”.

    A staunch liberal activist leading the majority.

    1. So far, six out of the eight 5-4 votes were Roberts joining the four conservatives. Only once, did he join the four liberals.

      1. Um, 8 5-4 votes. 6 CJ+conservatives 1 CJ+Liberals.

        Something doesn’t add up here. Where’s the 8th 5-4 split?

        My $0.02.

        Of course Roberts is always in the majority. He has become the swing vote. There is no majority without Roberts.

        1. One case had Kavanaugh, Roberts, Ginsburg, Sotomayor and Kagan in the majority.

      2. Where does Roberts vote on politically charged/culture war type cases?

        1. Which cases are politically charged is a matter of opinion, but I think all but one of the eight qualifies. The cases included DACA, four other immigration-related cases, a death penalty case, and the Wisconsin primary absentee voting case.

          1. Correction: the four immigration-related cases include the DACA case. So, six cases are politically charged and the conservatives won five of them.

  4. #BlackJusticesMatter

    1. When Justice Marshall was on the Court, sure. Justice Thomas? He seems the Justice Most Likely To Be The Outcast In An 8-1 Decision.

      1. Justice Marshall was in the 2 of a lot of 7-2’s, you know.

  5. Which just goes to underline how far from mainstream us Libertarians are. Please don’t tell Matt and the jacket.

    When the most Libertarian Justice, who is not terribly libertarian after all, is that far from holding a nice way, I’d say we don’t have a Libertarian moment in our future. At least not on the court.

    1. That’s why you have to pretend that Black people becoming the new samurais is a libertarian moment. Libertarianism is shouting see that I thought of that first after Democrats pass legislation. That and defending child pornographers like it’s the the last hill to die on.

  6. Yup …. that would explain the crappy decisions

  7. Justice Kennedy set the bar very high with a perfect 24-0 record in 5-4 decisions in the 2006 term.

  8. To get better numbers, it would be better to take unanimous decisions out of both the numerator and denominator.

    1. It’s pretty much the same story with Roberts (25/26) and Kavanaugh (24/26) leading the way. Everyone else is further behind with Thomas coming last at 13/26.

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