The Kennedy Court? Or the Roberts Court?:
Over at Legalities, Jan Crawford Greenburg has a provocative post about the direction of the Supreme Court. An excerpt:
Some are going so far as to call [the current Court] the "Kennedy Court," just as people used to refer to the old Court, led by Chief Justice William Rehnquist, as the "O'Connor Court."
Not to sound like AMK himself here, but I've been struggling with that. That label just doesn't fit—nor does it capture what's going on inside the Court. I know Kennedy is the Man to Watch. But I don't think we're seeing the emergence of the Kennedy Court.
This is a Supreme Court engaged in a fierce battle of ideas, a big-picture struggle over the role of the Court and the direction it's going to take. When you talk about long-range influence over the law, it's the ideas that define the Court. It's a Court in struggle—not for the vote of one justice, but for an intellectual mooring.
It's the Roberts Court v. the Stevens Court.
And as this term is beginning to make clear, in that battle, Roberts' vision is going to win out. It may not be this term, though the Chief certainly will prevail in those big-issue cases more than JPS will. It may not be in every case, or with much in the way of consensus. But even if Stevens stays another decade (to 97!), I'd bet that Roberts is going to carry the day with this group of justices.