Of the ideological cases decided this term, the conservative majority... prevailed in 13. The court’s increasingly marginalized liberals... prevailed in only six, including the four Texas death penalty cases.So what were the 2 "ideological cases" that were not Texas death penalty cases but that the liberal side won? Here's a chart that displays the significant 5-to-4 decisions. One was Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency, where the Court found the state had standing to sue the EPA over its decision that it should not regulate greenhouse gases. The other was apparently not significant enough to go on the chart, and I can't call to mind what it was.
The difference depended on how Justice Anthony M. Kennedy voted. Remarkably, he was in the majority in all 24 of the 5-to-4 cases....
And here's Edward Lazarus, summing things up for the Washington Post and not mincing words:
This term at the Supreme Court was a nearly unmitigated disaster for progressives. By 5-to-4 votes, the justices upheld limits on abortion, dealt a staggering blow to school desegregation, lacerated campaign finance reform, made it harder for women to sue for equal pay, curtailed the free speech rights of students, loosened various legal restrictions on business and greased the skids for convictions in death penalty cases.No mitigation in that global warming case? Those four Texas death penalty cases did nothing about all that grease on the skids? And how about all the times Scalia and Thomas demanded a stark overruling and the moderate conservatives resisted? A "staggering blow to school desegregation"? Come on, that could only have been "unmitigated" if Kennedy had joined the Roberts plurality. His concurrence is the very definition of mitigation. I'm having trouble taking Lazarus seriously enough to get beyond the first paragraph.
But, for you, dear readers, I will force myself:
Progressives are shell-shocked. They believe that the Roberts court has transformed the branch of government singularly devoted to the protection of our rights and liberties into a facilitator of discrimination and a guardian of powerful political and moneyed interests.Eh, I can't go on. This is the same kind of hysteria about the Court I've read for as long as I've been studying law (since 1978). It's always just this last year that everything went to hell. For 30 years. Talk to me when you've settled down.
ADDED: Patterico calls David Savage a drama queen.