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Predicting SCOTUS

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From SCOTUSblog’s Tom Goldstein, on the approaching end of the term:

The consensus is that the Chief Justice is writing an opinion invalidating the school assignment programs. The federal campaign finance law at issue in Wisconsin Right to Life is likely to be struck down on the same voting alignment.

That would truly be an extraordinary Term, but I get the sense that there may still be more. The fact that Justices Ginsburg and Stevens dissented from the bench in three cases-twice in late May and early June after all the votes had been cast-strongly suggests an exceptionally high level of frustration on the left. (Neither does such a thing lightly.) It seems entirely possible that the remaining cases involving, for example, challenges to public funding of programs with religious components (Hein), search and seizure (Brendlin), and the environment (Defenders of Wildlife) all will be decided five to four, with Justice Kennedy siding with the conservatives.

If that happens — and I think it is likely that it (or something close to it) will — the President will have gotten with his appointments precisely the Court he sought and that liberals feared. We can already count on conservative rulings on race, abortion, campaign finance, and the death penalty, and may be able to add to that religion, the Fourth Amendment, and the environment. It would be a memorable Term indeed.


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