In April, 2011, I wrote a blog post entitled Justice, the Rule of Law and Politically Biased Judges, in which I discussed the most important thing to know in order to come anywhere close to predicting the outcome of a court case on appeal:
Knowing the law these days is not the most important thing, and maybe doesn’t matter at all. It’s the liberal/conservative lineup of the court that matters.
The correctness of that statement is implicit in this piece at Reason.com by Damon Root:
Another confirmation of my theory occurred in the Obamacare case when Chief Justice John Roberts shocked everyone who formerly believed him to be a conservative who would follow the law and take a reasonable view of precedent and the plain language of the Constitution and statutes, no matter whether his personal political views were in conflict. It turns out every word of what conservatives believed about the Chief Justice was wrong, and the case depended not on law, but on politics. The Supreme Court and most other appellate courts often do not function as courts, but as unelected political branches.
So why not make them run for election* every 2, 3 or 4 years like all other politicians?