The Supreme Court: Disqualified

Decision-making is its job, but last week the Supreme Court could not make up its mind in two cases. On both, the justices deadlocked 4 to 4, which meant that the court affirmed the lower court without ruling on the merits.* Such ties do not happen often, but there have now been four this term. The reason is that the newest justice, Thurgood Marshall, has had to disqualify himself from almost every case decided so far.

Marshall came to the court after having been counsel for the N.A.A.C.P.'s legal-defense fund and then U.S. Solicitor General, the man responsible for all...

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