Fresh from my mailbox, the July issue of the ABA
Journal has an article on the ideological drift of Supreme Court justices.
Author Richard Brust spoke with Lee Epstein of
“[S]ays Epstein, ideological drift is the rule rather than the exception. Of the justices appointed since 1937 -- the rise of the New Deal court -- almost all have grown either more liberal or more conservative during their tenures. Some have shifted several times. ‘Very few have not drifted,’ says Epstein. Of the 26 justices over the last 70 years who served for at least 10 terms, only four can be seen to have stuck to their original ideologies.”
Which four justices remained anchored to their original ideological dispositions? The answers are (after the break):
As the article notes, however, there are ideo-drift skeptics. In this op-ed from the Chicago Tribune, David Strauss of the University of Chicago Law School argues, “The idea that judges change their basic philosophical views once they are on the bench is a myth.” Although he does not deny there are some valid examples, Strauss thinks it is the rare justice who really changes.