Assessing the first months of the new nine-member Supreme Court
WHEN the justices took their chairs last October, Hillary Clinton was a shoo-in for the presidency and Antonin Scalia’s seat seemed destined for a jurist who would anchor a liberal Supreme Court majority for the first time in almost five decades. Nine months later, as the justices wrapped up a largely uncontentious term, Neil Gorsuch, Donald Trump’s pick for Mr Scalia’s seat, seems poised to cement the court’s conservative tilt for the foreseeable future. “Conservatives have to be clinking their champagne glasses,” says Elizabeth Wydra, president of the Constitutional Accountability Centre.
Justice Gorsuch joined the court in mid-April, taking part in only 13 of the 60-odd cases handed down by the end of June. That is enough to confirm that he mimics his predecessor’s jurisprudence. Indeed, he seems to be even more conservative: his votes are in lockstep with those of the right-most justice, Clarence Thomas. In the eyes of Ian Samuel of Harvard Law School, who…Continue reading