A Surprising Display Of Centrist Thinking

The Supreme Court shuns extremes in four major cases

For liberals, there has been little to cheer about the current Supreme Court term since Clarence Thomas took his place on the bench in November. Especially in the area of criminal procedure and individual rights, the Rehnquist court has been predictably conservative in its approach. But last week, as the term entered its final days, the high court issued a quartet of decisions that showed a distinct pro-First Amendment, pro-civil liberties streak that surprised many observers. What was clear was that Antonin Scalia and Thomas, the right wing of the court, were far from controlling the agenda. Instead, a group of...

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