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John Adams Blog

The blog of The Antient and Honourable John Adams Society, Minnesota's Conservative Debating Society www.johnadamssociety.org

Friday, January 13, 2006

The New Face of the Constitution.

Ramesh Ponnuru makes an important point over at The Corner

Neither over nor underestimate the importance of Alito's impending confirmation. It's true that we don't have a conservative majority. On the other hand, assuming, as I do, that Alito is more conservative (in the legal sense) than Byron White was, we will have the largest number of conservatives on the Court in the history of the modern conservative movement and in the history of the modern Court. No small thing, it seems to me.
This seems right. I am not very worried that Roberts and Alito will generally vote to interpret the Constitution the way it should be interpreted. That gives the good side four pretty solid votes - Scalia, Thomas, Roberts and Alito. Recall the "conservative majority" referred to under some Rehnquist years never really was since it included Kennedy and O'Connor. (I believe the conservative majority was Rehnquist, Scalia, Thomas, Kennedy, and O'Connor.) Essentially what we have now is a solidly liberal block (Stevens, Souter, Ginsberg, and Breyer) a solidly conservative block
(assuming Alito is confirmed) of Scalia, Thomas, Roberts and Alito and a swing vote of Kennedy. He is what economists would call the "median voter." What he says goes. (To be concrete, I don't expect Kennedy to be in the minority on any important decisions.)

Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

Its more than just votes that matter, it is also the power of persuasion. Adding Roberts and Alito to the Court, two obvious judicial heavyweights, may bear more on Kennedy then we think. Before, the liberals on the court only had to convince either Kennedy or O'Conner. Now its just Kennedy, which means their argument must be twice as good. Who will be making the case for the liberals....I expect that Breyer will probably be the last hope for them... except that Breyer has become unpredictible recently....

Roberts, Alito, Thomas, and Scalia could be a tour de force in American legal history... influencing legal argument for generations.

10:46 PM, January 13, 2006  

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