Sorry, but the Gorsuch confirmation does NOT tilt SCOTUS to the Right!

Reuters article: "Trump's pick Gorsuch sworn in, restoring top court's conservative tilt."

Excuse me? On what planet has the United States Supreme Court ever in recent history had a "conservative tilt?"

I'm used to hearing that bizarre assertion from the Left, who somehow have the idea that Anthony Kennedy, sometimes described as the "swing vote" on the Court, is a conservative. He is indeed often a "swing vote,"  and has been known to often vote on the conservative side on First and Second Amendment issues. He dissented from the Court's ruling on the constitutionality of Obamacare and provided the decisive vote in striking down the District of Columbia's restrictive gun law.

But the author of the majority opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges is very far from being a predictable conservativeNo reasonable person would describe Anthony Kennedy as an originalist, or a "strict constructionist," If the Court has a Center, Kennedy occupies it.

Thomas is a conservative. Alito is a conservative. Even Roberts is a conservative. The late, great Antonin Scalia was a conservative. And yes, Gorsuch is a conservative. But while  Anthony Kennedy can accurately be described as the Court's ideological fulcrum, it's just as misleading to call him a conservative as it would be to call him a liberal. The appointment of Gorsuch does not in any sense "tilt" the Court to the Right. It simply undoes a temporary advantage for the Left, in which four liberal justices and three conservative ones served with a justice who on any given case could side with either camp.

It certainly is possible that Donald Trump will appoint up to three more justices in the next four years. Justice Kennedy, along with Justices Ginsberg and Breyer, are all of an age at which that possibility naturally arises. Before Mr. Trump's term is over the Court may well have a "conservative tilt," and perhaps even a decisive one. But as of now, the Court is evenly balanced between four liberal justices and four conservative ones, with one- Justice Kennedy- who on any given issue might well go either way.


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