Every once in a SCOTUS justice picks one of their side's ideological issues over another, sometimes--but not always--to the benefit of the opposite side's preferred result.

Here's what the six conservative justices put at the top of their lists:
Roberts, with rare exception, puts his standing hawkishness over his substantive agenda. Proof: his first-ever solo dissent today was against an Evangelical Christian college student arguing a free speech violation; his vote in the Prop 8 case to the benefit of SSM in CA.
(Top of my head, Roberts rare exception assuming standing when he otherwise may not have: the Fisher affirmative action cases)
Once upon a time, you could count Thomas's putting the conservative substantive agenda over conservative judicial restraint. But now his view is orthodox conservative.
Thomas does every long time altogether junk his commitment to the conservative substantive agenda to strike out at pre-Civil Rights Era symbols of racist terror (cross burning, Confederate flag license plates) that he'd prob uphold if subject matter was anything else at all
Alito refuses to execute abstract conservative priorities in cases that trigger his bone-deep law-and-order impulses (see, e.g., Comstock, Gundy, Snyder v. Phelps)
Gorsuch places a formalist, wooden textualism/originalism above any conservative substantive agenda (Bostock, Haymond)
Kavanaugh? He hasn't yet really stepped out to choose one principle over another. I guess there's his support for the Batson line of cases, but that's all he's shown so far, and that's more a general heresy that now kinda isn't, so ehhhh?
Barrett, in her short time on the bench, has given one significant data point: she chose a death row inmate's religious liberty/freedom/rights over letting the state kill him. supremecourt.gov/opinions/20pdf…
(Alito and/or Gorsuch gave Barrett and the liberals the fifth vote in that case, but we don't know why because neither man wrote or even put his name on any opinion)
Anyway, I find these individuals' intra-ideological priorities fascinating and revealing.
And back to Roberts as the Court's chief standing hawk - today's solo dissent really solidified what I before had thought was a still somewhat contingent principle

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More from @MikeSacksEsq

21 Feb
The district court judge at the center of this story is 54. That alone means she’s not going to be a SCOTUS nominee, no matter what else she has going for her.
Influential members of Congress can pitch their preferred names all day long but sitting right by POTUS is a VPOTUS from a state where its highest court houses a 44yo black female justice who cut her teeth in the US Solicitor General’s office after clerking for Justice Stevens
And while Breyer could pull a Kennedy and put his thumb on the scales for his own former clerk, I think KBJ is more likely to get elevated to Garland or Tatel’s seat on the DC Cir than skip straight to SCOTUS
Read 7 tweets
13 Feb
Seems to me if nothing’s gonna get you the votes to convict, might as well get it over with and have Committees call witnesses as part of 1/6 investigation so Senate can pass COVID relief on schedule, then quickly get GOP to block voting rights bill to prompt filibuster nuke.
The trial was about seeing the impeachment process through to its finish. The evidence already presented was overwhelming. Most Republicans had already committed to “doesn’t matter, trial’s unconstitutional” as failsafe escape. Witnesses wouldn’t change that.
If the point is accountability, committee hearings can do that. Especially if they’re to factfind for the purposes of, say, a 14th Amendment Section 3 resolution against Trump, which would only require a majority vote:
Read 5 tweets
12 Feb
Note that this case only exists bc people got mad when SCOTUS OK’d execution of a Muslim without an imam by his side in a state that only provided Christian pastors so SCOTUS stopped a state with similar rules from executing a Buddhist, and so those states just barred all clergy
Read 9 tweets
10 Feb
Ambitious Senators' greatest refuge is also their worst fear: no one will ever remember them or what they do unless they become President.
And should they become President, no one will ever remember what they said or did as Senators.
All's to say: how any Senator votes on this impeachment trial won't haunt their historical record because, well, history will forget them. Instead, they will vote based on present political considerations and/or personal sense of right and wrong.
Read 4 tweets
7 Jan
Yeah, but it’s been a constant presence there one way or another since, say, 1877
This , for instance, only just came down
And down in the crypt the President of the Confederacy still stands
Read 6 tweets
6 Jan
The Grim Reaper coming now for Trump
"The voters, the courts, and the states have all spoken. They've all spoken. If we overrule them, it would damage our Republic forever."
McConnell: "The election actually was not unusually close. Just in recent history, 1976, 2000, and 2004 were all closer than this one. The electoral college margin is almost identical to what it was in 2016."
Read 13 tweets

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