Richard Wolf of USA Today can’t use the word “left” to describe recent Supreme Court rulings, only “right.” It came in a story headlined “Supreme Court poised to tilt further to the right.”
When the Court tacks left, it’s a “blockbuster” term of “landmark" decisions. Wolf began: “After two blockbuster terms in which it saved President Obama's health care law and advanced the cause of same-sex marriage, the Supreme Court appears poised to tack to the right in its upcoming term on a range of social issues, from abortion and contraception to race and prayer.”
Recent decisions aren't even "pleasing to Democrats," they're landmarks: "Even the landmark cases most recently decided on same-sex marriage, voting rights and affirmative action could get encores at the high court in the near future." How much of a "landmark" are they if they're effectively carved out or reversed?
Wolf suggests – contrary to recent evidence – that this is going to be an “Alito Court” where liberals miss Sandra Day O’Connor, but won’t admit this is a “Roberts Court,” and note how much less conservative John Roberts looks than William Rehnquist, the chief justice he replaced:
This term could introduce to America the "Alito Court" — not dominated by Associate Justice Samuel Alito, still the most junior member of the conservative majority, but altered the most by his replacement of Sandra Day O'Connor in 2006. If the court veers further to the right this term, that substitution will have flipped the switch.
"We now have seen the full flowering of the replacing of Alito for O'Connor," says Walter Dellinger, former acting solicitor general in the Clinton administration.
(Hat tip: @BethTeal)