Where's the liberal John Roberts?

On the other hand, it surprised no one that the court’s liberals voted unanimously to advance their ideologically preferred outcome. The pundits who questioned the legitimacy and independence of the court’s conservatives never considered that perhaps the justices on the court who are too politically partisan are those with liberal politics. Indeed, while conservative justices switching sides on landmark cases has been a fairly common occurrence for decades, liberal defections in such cases almost never happen.

It has even become routine for legal experts and media commentators predicting outcomes of politically controversial cases to only consider the possibility of conservative justices breaking rank. It’s taken for granted that no liberal member of the court would join with the conservative justices. This is why in all the Obamacare case analysis, never did a single member of the media or legal establishment entertain the notion that a liberal justice would vote to strike down the law. A liberal justice ruling against Obamacare? That would be absurd!…

Indeed, liberal justices on the Supreme Court so seldom break rank with one another on major cases that if a current conservative justice retired and was replaced with a liberal, all politically controversial cases would have foregone conclusions. It’s unlikely that conservatives would hold their collective breath for any liberal justice to cross over the ideological divide. With a liberal majority, other than predicting which cases the court will choose to hear, there would not be much for legal experts to discuss.

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