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ERIC Number: EJ779247
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Oct
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0037-7724
Supreme Court Preview
Williams, Charles F.
Social Education, v71 n6 p296, 298, 300-303 Oct 2007
The Supreme Court's preview is presented in this article. During the 2006-07 Supreme Court term, it was the 5-4 decisions that garnered the most attention. Twenty-four of the term's 72 cases were decided by this narrowest of margins--the highest percentage of 5-4 opinions in a decade--even as the share of unanimous opinions fell "below levels seen during most recent years under former Chief Justice William Rehnquist." For years, the Rehnquist Court had two "swing voters"--Justices O'Connor and Kennedy--ideologically poised between three comparatively conservative justices and four comparatively liberal justices. After Rehnquist's death and O'Connor's retirement, the confirmations of John Roberts and Samuel Alito have transformed the Court. Now four outright conservative justices--Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito--are frequently balanced against Justices Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer. In most of the high profile and controversial cases, that means there is only one swing voter left--Kennedy. As this article reviews the past term, and considers the new one, which began October 1, it can be seen that, in general, this has made for a much more reliably conservative Court. (Contains 23 notes and 3 resources.)
National Council for the Social Studies. 8555 Sixteenth Street 500, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Tel: 800-683-0812; Tel: 301-588-1800; Fax: 301-588-2049; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A