The most conservative court in decades?
- In its first 5 years (2005-2010), the Roberts Court issued decisions that could be called 'conservative' 58% if the time.
- In 2008-09, this figure rose to 65% - the highest number in any year since 1953.
- The Warren Court issued conservative decisions only 34% of the time.
- Both the Burger Court (1969-86) & the Rehnquist Court (1986-2005) issued conservative decisions 55%
- 4 of the 6 most conservative justices of the 45 who have sat on the Court since 1937 are still serving today: Chief Justice Roberts along with justices: Alito, Scalia & Thomas.
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To what extent is it an activist court?
- The Roberts Court has in fact been less activist than its predecessors, both in terms of laws struck down & precedents overruled.
- The Roberts Court has been much more consercatice on those occasions when it has struck down a federal or state law, or overruled a precedent.
- The Roberts Court is not an activist Court, but when it is, its decisions are conservative.
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Average number of laws struck down per term
Warren (1953-69) - 7.9
Burger (1969-86) - 12.5
Rehnquist (1986-05) - 6.2
Roberts (2005 -) - 3.0
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Average number of precedents overruled per term
Warren - 2.7
Burger - 2.8
Rehqnuist - 2.4
Roberts - 1.6
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