Bench Memos

Re: Building Consensus

Conservatives troubled by Chief Justice Roberts’s comments about building consensus around narrow rulings might find encouraging Jan Crawford Greenburg’s observations (from SCOTUSblog):

Looking forward, Roberts’ real challenge will be reining in Justice Kennedy, so that he is not presiding over the “Kennedy Court,” with every case a battle between left and right over AMK’s vote. Roberts’s goals of narrow opinions and consensus must be viewed in the context of constraining Kennedy—not constraining Thomas and Scalia, as some have suggested. Roberts needs Thomas and Scalia go along with him, to be sure, but I think the idea of constraint and narrowness is targeted more at limiting Kennedy’s power to dictate the Court’s direction—as O’Connor determined the Court’s direction in the Rehnquist era. I expect Roberts to get takers on both sides for that approach. The liberals know Kennedy is no O’Connor—he’s more conservative, and they will lose his vote much more often than they lost hers. 


The Latest