The Supreme Court concluded its 2006-07 term on June 29 by issuing several controversial decisions on topics ranging from campaign finance to school desegregation. The first full term of the Roberts Court was characterized by 24 5-4 decisions, more than any other recent term.
Nineteen of those closely divided decisions were determined on ideological lines, with Chief Justice John Roberts ’79 joined by Justices Antonin Scalia ’60, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito winning 13 of those decisions. Justice Anthony Kennedy ’61 was the swing vote and was in the majority of all 5-4 decisions. Remarkably, Kennedy only dissented in two of the 68 cases decided by the court.
Harvard Law School’s cadre of leading constitutional scholars offered their take on this historic term:
One of the most controversial decisions by the Court strongly curtailed the use of race as a factor in assigning children to public schools. With both the majority and dissenting opinions citing the landmark Brown v. Board decision as precedent, several of Harvard Law’s leading civil rights scholars offered commentary.