The “Swing” Justice?

by Jonathan H. Adler

Justice O’Connor is often referred to as the “swing” justice who controls the outcome in key cases, but that wasn’t so much the case this past year. While O’Connor was in the majority in ten of the court’s 17 5-4 decisions, so were Justices Thomas, Souter, Scalia, and Kennedy. Moreover, O’Connor only wrote the majority opinion in one 5-4 case, whereas Justices Scalia, Kennedy, and Stevens wrote three apiece.

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