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65 Percent of Time Justice Kennedy Sided With High Court Liberals

Image: 65 Percent of Time Justice Kennedy Sided With High Court Liberals
Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy joins other justices of the U.S. Supreme Court for an official group portrait at the Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C., on June 1, 2017. Kennedy was named to the high court in 1987 by President Ronald Reagan and took the oath of office in 1988. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

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Tuesday, 11 Jul 2017 09:49 AM Current | Bio | Archive

In ideologically aligned 5-4 decisions, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy is widely seen as a swing vote in a court with four conservative members and four liberal members.

Over the past three court sessions, Kennedy sided with the liberals on such rulings 65 percent of the time. But, in the five years before that, he cast the decisive vote with the conservatives 65 percent of the time.

In raw numbers, the past three years saw 23 ideologically driven 5-4 decisions. Data from SCOTUSblog shows that Kennedy sided with the liberal wing 15 times and with the conservative wing eight times. In the five years before that, he voted with the conservatives 37 times and the liberals 20 times.

Court session

5-4 ideologically aligned rulings

Kennedy voted with conservatives

Kennedy voted with liberals

2016-2017

6

2

4

2015-2016

4

1

3

2014-2015

13

5

8

2013-2014

6

4

2

2012-2013

16

10

6

2011-2012

10

5

5

2010-2011

14

10

4

2009-2010

11

8

3

Source: SCOTUSblog Stat Pack

While there has been a clear change in Kennedy’s alliances over the past few years, that does not necessarily indicate a change in his judicial philosophy. It may simply be the result of the particular issues that have come before the court.

Justice Kennedy is currently the longest-serving member of the Supreme Court. He was nominated by President Ronald Reagan and took office in 1988. There have been many rumors about his potential retirement in the next year or so.

Scott Rasmussen’s Number of the Day is published by Ballotpedia. Each weekday, Scott Rasmussen’s Number of the Day explores interesting and newsworthy topics at the intersection of culture, politics, and technology.

Scott Rasmussen is a Senior Fellow for the Study of Self-Governance at the King’s College in New York and an Editor-At-Large for Ballotpedia, the Encyclopedia of American Politics. His most recent book, "Politics Has Failed: America Will Not," was published by the Sutherland Institute in May.To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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In ideologically aligned 5-4 decisions, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy is widely seen as a swing vote in a court with four conservative members and four liberal members.
decisions, ideologically, kennedy
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2017-49-11
Tuesday, 11 Jul 2017 09:49 AM
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