‘Disasters averted’: New York Times quotes Prof. Garrett Epps in editorial on Supreme Court’s eventful 2014 Term

The lead editorial in today’s New York Times quotes Professor Garrett Epps, who wrote in his most recent Atlantic essay that the string of liberal “victories” in the Supreme Court’s 2014 Term represents “disasters averted, not new frontiers discovered.”

Epps, The Atlantic‘s Supreme Court correspondent, continued in “The New Divisions in the U.S. Supreme Court”: “It is tempting to discuss the Roberts Court as if it were a conscious entity, slowly moderating its view of the world. But it’s not: It is a nine-person committee in which any one member can often change a key result. The transcendence-and-fulfillment Kennedy of Obergefell voted for Confederate flag license plates, judicial campaign-fund solicitation, and lethal injectionthe ‘moderate’ Roberts was aggressively conservative on same-sex marriage and redistricting. Big results in both cases, but no outbreak of centrist unity.”

The Times said while some might see a “leeward shift” among the justices, the high court’s recent decisions on same-sex marriage, bias in housing and the Affordable Care Act were more exceptions than reflections of a move to the left: “If they reflect any particular trend, it is not a growing liberalism, but rather the failure of hard-line conservative activists trying to win in court what they have failed to achieve through legislation.”

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