The Right Coast

January 11, 2006
Weird SCOTUS math
By Tom Smith

There are actually only slightly more than 4 ideal justices the comprise the Court. The math proves it. I'm not quite sure what this means. One implication is that the output of the court is not that political. Or maybe I don't get it.

BTW I would love to hear from anyone who knows of, or better yet has, some sort of index of how the politics of the Court changes over time. Not how particular justices change, but the Court as a body. So with JFK and LBJ appointments the Court presumably became more liberal, with Reagan more conservative, and so on. Is there some sort of political scientist approved way of quantifying these changes over time?