Should Peter Rubin marvel (“A Supreme Mystery“) as he does at the frequent 5-4 splits and the closeness of balance on the U.S. Supreme Court?

Except at times of rapid turnover, it ought to be expected that many of the cases worth taking will produce close divisions. I haven’t done the research, but it’s empirically checkable whether 5-4 divisions along lines that are fairly predictable are any more frequent now than in earlier decades — and I’d be surprised if they were significantly more common.

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