The Swing Voter Who Matters Most

Photograph by Peter Hapak for TIME

A few years ago, an academic study on judicial decisionmaking suggested that judges generally make intuitive decisions--and then sometimes override them through deliberation. In a high court where eight of the nine votes are fairly predictable, it becomes a matter of great importance to figure out how that unpredictable ninth Justice, Anthony Kennedy, makes up his mind. From this week's cover story, it seems as though Kennedy almost reverses this process: careful deliberation comes first, then intuition tips the balance. But as Massimo Calabresi and David Von Drehle's deeply reported story argues, Kennedy really seems to approach cases with a degree...

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