Kennedy Is Swing Vote as Supreme Court Shifts Right

The term in review
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser User
Posted Jun 30, 2007 7:34 PM CDT
Members of the Supreme Court sit for a group portrait at the Supreme Court in Washington in this March 3, 2006 file photo. Seated in the front row, from left to right are   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – As the Supreme Court wrapped up its first term under Chief Justice John Roberts Friday, the new court's conservative bent was obvious: the Court swung to the right in most of the ideological cases decided this year by a 5-4 margin. Justice Anthony Kennedy delivered the swing vote, making him the key to the new majority. 

Linda Greenhouse of the New York Times notes that Kennedy voted with the majority in all 24 of the 5-to-4 cases; the liberals were successful in only 6. Kennedy occupies the role of his more moderate predecessor, Sandra Day  O'Connor ,as the court's new "center of gravity." "It is not often in the law that so few have so quickly changed  so much," said Justice Stephen Breyer, a member of the liberal minority. (Read more US Supreme Court stories.)