The 10th term of the Roberts Court made history by recognizing same-sex couples’ right to marry. But that and other surprising liberal victories revealed deep divisions among the justices — not just between the left and right sides of the bench, but often within the court’s conservative wing.
Justice Anthony Kennedy, who led the court’s liberal justices in the same-sex marriage ruling, voiced a broader conception of individual liberty than did his colleagues to his right. And Chief Justice John Roberts Jr., in upholding federal health care subsidies in the Affordable Care Act, rejected Justice Antonin Scalia’s textualist approach to statutory interpretation in favor of a pragmatic examination of the legislative plan.
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