Supreme Court Politics

December 5, 2016
By

(This article was first published on More or Less Numbers, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

I had wanted to post this before the US Election, but time constraints didn’t allow.  With the potential for new Supreme Court Justices in the next four years, many voters and namely single-issue voters rallied behind Donald Trump for his seeming support for a conservative justice.  Most of the people I spoke with were primarily concerned with the potential appointment of a justice who could help in concentrating efforts in overturning abortion.  For a more in-depth look on Trump, his stances and commentary on overturning abortion I found this article to be helpful.

I was curious in the past how the political leanings of the Justices has changed over time and if opportunities like a conservative bench with a republican president have occurred in the past.  I was curious because I wondered if an appointment during the Trump administration would change anything.

The graph below shows the amount of abortions over time during different presidents and each point shows the political split of the bench (Democrat-Republican).

Political leanings on a bench aren’t indicative of a pro-life vote.  However, learning more conservative politically does provide potential for a favorable pro-life vote.  I found this information interesting since the split on the court has predominantly been conservative for the last 40 years and only recently has it become more liberal.  The graph speaks for itself and the code for it is available here.

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