NYT: The Women of SCOTUS Vote Together, Based on Ideology, Not Biology
So, this is pretty cool. The New York Times did a not-so-complex study of Supreme Court voting pairs, meaning they looked at which pairs of justices voted together the most out of the 36 possible pairs.
The top three spots were taken by pairs of women. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan voted together at least 93 percent of the time.
It might be easy to reflexively cheer, "Girl power!" However, as the Times points out, the alignments were a product of ideology, not biology. "They are the three most liberal justices on the court," said Pamela Harris, an advisor to the Supreme Court Institute at Georgetown's law school, "and it makes sense that they would often be in agreement."
“It’s important to note that the agreement was not on ‘women’s’ or ‘social justice’ issues,” Lisa T. McElroy, a law professor at Drexel University, said.
Doesn't that sort of make the Times' finding all the more awesome? And don't worry, you still get to pay homage to girl power. The article also notes that Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan "dominated" SCOTUS arguments in the last term. Justice Sotomayor asked the most questions, averaging more than 21 in each hourlong argument, and Justice Ginsburg asked the first question 37 percent of the time. Plus, Justice Kagan by numerous accounts asked the best questions of all of the justices. Impressive, no?
Referring to these three awe-inspiring women justices as "girls" might be disrespectful in just about every possible scenario, but I can't help but think to myself, "Who runs the court? Girls."