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What the Supreme Court does is largely a product of its membership. For that reason, new appointments to the Court are the subject of widespread interest and heated debate. This is especially true when the departure of a sitting Justice and the arrival of a successor are expected to bring about a substantial shift in the Court’s legal policies. That expectation accompanied the 2018 appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to succeed the retiring Anthony Kennedy. This final chapter reviews the first year of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, in terms of the expected and unexpected rulings, what they reveal about his judicial philosophy, and the outlook for the future.
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On Kennedy’s legacy, see Chapter 10 of SCOTUS 2018, “Justice Anthony Kennedy Retires,” by Morgan Marietta.
On this episode, see Chapter 11 of SCOTUS 2018, “The Troubled Confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh,” by Julie Novkov.
See Chapter 6 on Gundy, which was deeply influenced by Kavanaugh’s absence.
See Scott Shane et al., “Trump’s Choice: Beltway Insider Born and Bred,” The New York Times, 15 July 2018.
This percentage is based on analysis of data in the Supreme Court Database, archived at http://scdb.wustl.edu.
Data based on this measure, devised by Michael Bailey, are archived at https://michaelbailey.georgetown.domains/data-page-jop-2013/.
In general, votes for litigants who claim that their civil liberties have been violated are characterized as liberal; votes for businesses in conflicts with consumers, employees, and government regulation are characterized as conservative. Justices’ votes were not counted in cases in which the ideological meaning of the competing positions was ambiguous or in cases in which Justice Kavanaugh did not participate, so more than one-third of the Court’s decisions were excluded. The census case, Department of Commerce v. New York (see Chapter 3), was treated as having two decisions because there were important holdings in both ideological directions.
See Chapter 13.
See Chapter 11.
See Chapter 3.
See Chapter 12.
See Chapter 2.
The cases were Murphy v. Collier and Morris County Board v. Freedom from Religion Foundation.
Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992).
Franchise Tax Board v. Hyatt and Knick v. Township of Scott.
Information on oral argument participation is from Tonja Jacobi and Matthew Sage, “October 2018 Term in Review Part I,” SCOTUS OA, 2 May 2019, scotusoa.com/2018term, and Adam Feldman, “Final Stat Pack for October Term 2018,” SCOTUSblog 28 June 2019.
- Justice Brett Kavanaugh Joins the Court
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- Chapter 14
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