During the confirmation proceedings for Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, bloggers at National Review Online took it upon themselves to defend the Supreme Court from charges that it had tilted far to the right and in favor of corporate interests since John Roberts had taken over as Chief Justice of the United States. For instance, this summer, Ed Whelan strongly criticized Alliance for Justice President Nan Aron for "contend[ing] that the 'Roberts court has repeatedly placed corporate interests first and the rights of individuals second.' "
But now The New York Times has reported on a new study finding that "[t]he Roberts court, which has completed five terms, ruled for business interests 61 percent of the time, compared with 46 percent in the last five years of the court led by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, who died in 2005, and 42 percent by all courts since 1953." The study added that the "differences are statistically significant."
And the study is not the work of progressives alone. Indeed, one of its co-authors is federal appellate Judge Richard Posner, a Ronald Reagan appointee and a conservative hero.
This all leads me to wonder: Which NRO blogger will be the first to throw Judge Posner under the bus in defense of the Roberts Court?