RBG hints that SCOTUS is divided in on big cases and will likely result in many 5-4 decisions.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg suggested Friday that the Supreme Court is deeply divided over its most-watched cases, hinting that a series of 5-4 decisions are likely as the court approaches the end of its current term.
Ginsburg said to the Second Circuit Judicial Conference the court was unlikely to achieve consensus on several high-profile matters.
“Of the 43 argued cases resolved so far, only 11, or just over 25%, were decided by a vote of 5 to 4 or 5 to 3,” Ginsburg said. “Given the number of most watched cases still unannounced, I cannot predict that the relatively low sharp divisions ratio will hold.”
One case likely to produce such a split is the dispute over the Trump administration’s bid to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census form. A coalition of civil rights groups and Democratic state governments sued to stop the question’s inclusion, saying it will depress minority participation in the census. The administration says it needs granular citizenship data to improve enforcement of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), but the plaintiffs believe they have uncovered evidence of the government’s true partisan motive.
The census serves as the basis for apportioning seats in Congress among the states.
Ginsburg discussed the census dispute in connection with the 2018 travel ban decision, in which a 5-4 court said President Donald Trump’s entry sanctions were entitled to deference.