Last week, the Supreme Court concluded its annual term with resounding victories for the right, ending 50 years of affirmative action in college admissions, limiting gay rights when they ran afoul of religious objectors, and scrapping President Biden’s proposal to forgive the debt of 40 million Americans who owe student loans.
But as his latest stint as chief justice came to an end, Chief Justice John Roberts made an effort to show that his court wasn’t just a political one, and it now appears that Roberts and his fellow Justice Brett Kavanuagh have emerged as the new swing votes on the conservative leaning court.
Roberts wrote opinions that thwarted Republican attempts to obtain new legal advantages in the elections of 2024.
He rejected Alabama’s request to roll back protections provided by the Voting Rights Act for minority voters and rejected a request made by the legislative leaders of North Carolina to prevent state courts from reviewing gerrymandered congressional districts.
Brett Kavanaugh, the chief’s most dependable supporter, stood at Roberts’s side in both instances. Together with Justice Amy Coney Barrett in the North Carolina case, they voted in favor of maintaining the status quo in the liberal group.
According to Empirical Scotus, a website that offers statistical analysis of the Supreme Court, Roberts and Kavanaugh voted together in 95% of cases, while Barrett joined Roberts 89% of the time and Kavanaugh 91% of the time, establishing the court’s fulcrum.