Has the Supreme Court Become More Liberal?

Ezra Klein asks: Is the Supreme Court “getting more liberal or are the cases getting more conservative?”

“The Obamacare ruling is a good example. One way to read the outcome of that case is that the Court sided with liberals, and that’s evidence of a more liberal term. But another way to read that case is that it only made it to the Supreme Court because the Court has become so conservative — any other Court wouldn’t have bothered, and so the proper interpretation is that King v. Burwell is evidence of the Court’s conservatism.”

“But there’s another thing all these measurements miss: the importance of various rulings. The same-sex marriage ruling is a liberal ruling of enormous, even historic, magnitude. The scores will count it as one case, equal to any other case, but it isn’t — and its presence alone will ensure that liberals long remember this Court.”

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