Empirical SCOTUS: How Gorsuch’s first year compares

In 1986, when Justice Antonin Scalia joined the Supreme Court, the bench looked quite different than it does today. In fact, none of the justices on that court still sits on the Supreme Court bench. In 1986 the court was composed of five justices who were predominantly ideologically conservative and four justices who were predominantly liberal. Now, one year after Justice Neil Gorsuch joined the court and over two years since Scalia’s death, the landscape is quite different. Not only is there a changed set of faces on the court, but there are changed dynamics between the justices, and new dominant personalities. This post reflects on the impact Gorsuch has made on the court’s decision-making and looks back to compare this with the changing dynamics when the other sitting justices and Scalia joined the court. Gorsuch Gorsuch joined the Supreme Court at a unique time. Although there is much discussion about how this court could be the moving toward the right,…

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