Thanks to the stat trackers at Scotusblog, the excellent blog that covers the US Supreme Court, we see that in the last term the Supremes were unanimous on 65% of their cases. That is more unified than most married couples. Only 14% if the cases before the court were decided by a 5-4 margin. That means that 86% of the time, this Court has reached decisions with a clear majority in terms of decisions. The reasoning may lead to split concurrences, but for the most part, they get to to the same place.
So what is it about these cases that cause a 5-4 split? Over the next few weeks we will look at the 10 cases this term and see what we can learn about the Court from them. For one we will learn that you can get some strange bedfellows and unlike WWE booking, there can still be some surprises.
McCutcheon v. FEC: Campaign finance reform case in which the Court determined that limits on aggregate campaign contributions is unconstitutional. Majority: The usual conservative suspects and Kennedy. Opinion by Roberts.
Navarette v. California: Under the totality of the circumstances, the traffic stop precipitated by an anonymous but reliable tip to 911 complied with the Fourth Amendment because the officer had reasonable suspicion that the truck’s driver was intoxicated. Great mixed bag case. Justice Thomas wrote the majority opinion with Roberts, Kennedy, Breyer, and Alito joining. Scalia dissented, joined by Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan.