Eric Posner, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School, has an interesting analysis about whether the Republicans on the Court are becoming less ideological. You might be surprised by his conclusion that “Roberts and Kennedy are more likely to agree with the Democrats than with the other Republicans. I don’t think this has happened before.” On the other hand, “The Democrats and Thomas follow the ideologically polarized pattern of prior years.” Interestingly, if I am reading Posner correctly, Justices Scalia and Alito are nearly neutral.
Here is the table* that Posner presents.
|Justice||Same-Party Agreement, %||Opposite-Party Agreement, %||Propensity to Same-Party Agreement|
For a variety of reasons, a sophisticated empiricist might dismiss the foregoing as meaningless “fun facts.” But not all “fun facts” are meaningless. Sometimes they can, precisely because of their simplicity, illustrate something important. In my opinion, this is one of those occasions.
*”The numbers in the second and third columns are averages derived from Scotusblog (scroll down to the bottom). The last column is the second column divided by the third, so 1 means greater agreement with co-partisans.”
H/T How Appealing.