Saturday, September 11, 2004

"Understanding the Rehnquist Court"

Mark Tushnet, a Con Law scholar at Georgetown, has an excellent three-part post theorizing about the divisions and leadership of the Rehnquist Court.

What I find particularly intriguing about his analysis is that he speculates not on, say, the methodology of the Justices ("legalist" v. "pragmatist," as Walter Dellinger as suggested) or their ideology (liberal v. conservative), but rather on such ostensibly unknowable details as the state of Justice Kenney's mind; the way in which Justice Stevens is able to manipulate the assignment system, and the isolationist tendency of Justice Thomas, a consequence of his nomination fight.

It's an almost-breathtaking view of the Court. I just wonder how much weight to give what seem like speculations that are based not on the opinions themselves, but on what must be some unknowable information.

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December 8, 2005 at 8:08 AM  

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