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A Surprising Snapshot

I have been critical of Linda Greenhouse's NYT writings on the Supreme Court from time to time, but this article with the above title is well worth reading.  She begins:

Among common impressions of the current Supreme Court are that Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas are joined at the hip and that the majority tilts reflexively in favor of corporations and employers.
The surprise is that neither of those impressions is true.  It's not a surprise to me or to regular readers of this blog, but I'm glad to see Greenhouse conveying that to readers of the NYT.

In decisions that have split the court in any direction, Justices Scalia and Thomas have voted on opposite sides more often than they voted together. They differed in all three of the non-unanimous criminal-law cases that the court has decided so far.
She also plays the SCOTUS sudoku game and notes that Justice Thomas is the only Justice not to author a majority opinion this term and that Connick v. Thompson, on suing DAs offices for Brady violations, is the only October calendar case undecided.  So it is likely Justice Thomas has the assignment, and there is some reason the opinion is unusually difficult to get out.  Perhaps there is an unstable majority, or maybe the dissent is taking a long time.

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