Philosophy, not gender, drives SCOTUS decisions

My new post at Cato at Liberty takes a look at yesterday’s Supreme Court decision in Williams v. Illinois, a Confrontation Clause case involving an accused rapist. It’s one more data point bolstering the observation that if the three most liberal members of the current Court (Ginsburg, Kagan, and Sotomayor) vote together with some frequency, it’s more because they share a certain philosophy about the law than because they’re all women.

P.S. I see Eugene Volokh got there first, drawing similar conclusions (& welcome Nabiha Syed, SCOTUSblog readers).


  • The confrontation clause is a vital protector of our liberty, but I wonder what there would be to confront in the case as DNA profiles. They are so mechanically routine.

  • I suppose that some defendant could imagine that a DNA techs preconceived opinion about a case could bias the outcome of a DNA test (although I don’t see how). I can see, in the future, labs instituting some sort of double-blind testing procedure so that Techs do not know the identity of test samples to avoid this issue.