USA Today reports that the Supreme Court’s recent rulings on college affirmative action programs and the Voting Rights Act “illustrate the increasingly clear pattern” that the Court’s conservative majority is slowing moving the law to the right and “doesn’t mind uprooting a few precedents or statutes along the way.” Chief Justice John Roberts has “kept the court on its even keel, inching it to the right without appearing to do so.” May of this term’s decisions involved limiting governmental power and limited deference to the other branches of government. Additionally in “most of the business cases that came before the court this term, corporations won and consumers lost.”
Justice Kennedy seen as brake on right turns of Supreme Court. The AP reviews the Supreme Court’s “historic” term, noting that it “ended with a flourish of major rulings that marked a bitter defeat for racial minorities and a groundbreaking victory for gay rights, all in the space of a day.” The report also notes the pivotal role of Justice Kennedy, who was the only justice “was on the winning side” in both the DOMA and Voting Rights Act rulings. The AP says that Chief Justice John Roberts “can move the court no further to the right than Kennedy is willing to go.”
The Los Angeles Times also reports on the court’s term and how “the justices set out a new definition of equal justice that they see as suited to this time.” The Times also sees Justice Kennedy as pivotal to the court’s “consistent view” that “is skeptical of old liberal laws that put heavy emphasis on race, and just as skeptical of newer conservative laws that are biased against gays and lesbians.” It notes that Kennedy’s view of equal justice suggests “the government may not divide people into groups based on their race or ethic heritage, and now, their sexual orientation.”
From the American Association for Justice news release.