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Conservative Overreach May Explain Liberal Victories in Supreme Court

A celebration outside the Supreme Court in Washington after same-sex marriage was legalized. (Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press)
A celebration outside the Supreme Court in Washington after same-sex marriage was legalized. (Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press)

 

(Los Angeles Times) – The Supreme Court term that ended this week will be remembered for the landmark ruling that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, but it will also go down as a year when a fractured conservative bloc resulted in a surprising number of liberal wins.

That doesn’t mean the court has shifted left, as some have suggested. Instead, perhaps the biggest dynamic driving this term was overreaching by the court’s most conservative justices.

Under the court’s rules, the votes of four justices are needed to add a case to the docket, but a decision requires a majority of at least five.

On one case after another, four conservatives are believed to have teed up cases that had the potential to move the law to the right, only to fall short when the time came to vote.

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