Magazine July 30, 2012, Issue

A World of Labels

Justices Sonia Sotomayor and John Roberts outside the Supreme Court building, September 8, 2009 (Jason Reed/Reuters)
‘Moderate liberals’ and other interesting creatures

The New York Times can be amazing in its language. After the Supreme Court voted to uphold Obamacare, the paper said that Chief Justice Roberts had joined the Court’s four “moderate liberals” to form a majority. Roberts and the other Republican justices were “conservatives,” unqualified. That includes Justice Kennedy, who has long been a swing vote. But the Democratic justices — including President Obama’s picks, Sotomayor and Kagan, and Ginsburg, the former general counsel to the ACLU — were “moderate liberals.”

Earlier in the year, the Times had described George Zimmerman as a “white Hispanic.” He is the shooter in the

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