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Here Me Roar: What Provokes Supreme Court Justices to Dissent from the Bench
Unformatted Document Text:  5 unravel. 10 In fact, more than one third of all cases decided during the 2006 term came down 5-4 – a modern record. 11 For our purposes, the reading of dissents from the bench demonstrates disharmony on the Court – at least over the outcome of specific cases. In fact, the liberal wing of the Roberts’ Court has become increasingly upset with their colleagues’ decisions. As such, each justice in this typical voting bloc read dissents from the bench during the 2006 term. 12 In Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Inc 13 Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg read her dissent from the bench, the second time in two months she took such a tack in cases involving women’s rights. 14 While it was clear that Ginsburg was angered by the actions of her colleagues, Robert Barnes writes that, “Ginsburg’s voice was as precise and emotionless as if she were reading a banking decision, but the words were stinging.” 15 She announced an equally angry 10 See Linda Greenhouse, Roberts Is at Court’s Helm, But He Isn’t in Control, T HE N EW Y ORK T IMES , July 2, 2006, pg. Lexis; Linda Greenhouse, Roberts Dissent Reveals Strain Beneath Court’s Placid Surface, T HE N EW Y ORK T IMES , March 23, 2006, pg. Lexis. 11 Anthony Lewis, The Court: How ‘So Few Have So Quickly Changed So Much,’ 54 N EW Y ORK R EVIEW OF B OOKS , Dec. 20, 2007, available online at: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/20899 [last accessed on Feb. 21, 2008]. 12 A Disappointing Term: President Bush’s Nominees Give the Supreme Court an Activist Nudge to the Right, Editorial Board, T HE W ASHINGTON P OST , July 3, 2007, pg. Lexis. 13 127 S. Ct. 2162 (2007). 14 Linda Greenhouse, Oral Dissents Give Ginsburg a New Voice on Court, T HE N EW Y ORK T IMES , May 31, 2007, pg. Lexis. 15 Robert Barnes, Over Ginsburg’s Dissent, Court Limits Bias Suits, T HE W ASHINGTON P OST , May 30, 2007, pg. Lexis.

Authors: Johnson, Timothy. and Black, Ryan.
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background image
5
unravel.
10
In fact, more than one third of all cases decided during the 2006 term came down 5-4
– a modern record.
11
For our purposes, the reading of dissents from the bench demonstrates
disharmony on the Court – at least over the outcome of specific cases. In fact, the liberal wing of
the Roberts’ Court has become increasingly upset with their colleagues’ decisions. As such,
each justice in this typical voting bloc read dissents from the bench during the 2006 term.
12
In Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Inc
13
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg read her
dissent from the bench, the second time in two months she took such a tack in cases involving
women’s rights.
14
While it was clear that Ginsburg was angered by the actions of her colleagues,
Robert Barnes writes that, “Ginsburg’s voice was as precise and emotionless as if she were
reading a banking decision, but the words were stinging.”
15
She announced an equally angry
10
See Linda Greenhouse, Roberts Is at Court’s Helm, But He Isn’t in Control, T
HE
N
EW
Y
ORK
T
IMES
, July 2, 2006, pg. Lexis; Linda Greenhouse, Roberts Dissent Reveals Strain Beneath
Court’s Placid Surface, T
HE
N
EW
Y
ORK
T
IMES
, March 23, 2006, pg. Lexis.
11
Anthony Lewis, The Court: How ‘So Few Have So Quickly Changed So Much, 54 N
EW
Y
ORK
R
EVIEW OF
B
OOKS
, Dec. 20, 2007, available online at: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/20899
[last accessed on Feb. 21, 2008].
12
A Disappointing Term: President Bush’s Nominees Give the Supreme Court an Activist Nudge
to the Right, Editorial Board, T
HE
W
ASHINGTON
P
OST
, July 3, 2007, pg. Lexis.
13
127 S. Ct. 2162 (2007).
14
Linda Greenhouse, Oral Dissents Give Ginsburg a New Voice on Court, T
HE
N
EW
Y
ORK
T
IMES
, May 31, 2007, pg. Lexis.
15
Robert Barnes, Over Ginsburg’s Dissent, Court Limits Bias Suits, T
HE
W
ASHINGTON
P
OST
,
May 30, 2007, pg. Lexis.


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