Alignment of 5-4 Decisions

June 30th, 2015

From Kedar Bhatia’s ever-useful StatPack, we see that this year, there were eight 5-4 decisions where AMK voted with the liberals, and only five where AMK voted with the conservatives. In Walker, Justice Thomas voted with the four liberals. In Williams-Yulee, CJ Roberts joined Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan. So there were 10 cases where four┬áliberals were joined by one conservative. But the only case where four conservatives were joined by one liberal was Breyer joining in Armstrong. But even there, Breyer only concurred in judgment with Justice Scalia’s opinion, which fractured significantly. Adam Liptak discusses the “discipline” of the liberals in his insightful end-of-year piece.