In a recent statement by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the SCOTUS watching world was warned to be on the lookout for some big 5 to 4 decisions coming down from the High Court this month.
Among the expected contentious decisions, the census question case and a political gerrymandering case seem to be the most hotly anticipated cases. These cases are expected to be decided along partisan lines, though it's not too uncommon for justices to cast unexpected swing votes.
The two cases anticipated to be contentious 5 to 4 decisions involve hot button political issues. The census question case asks whether it’s permissible for the United States Census to ask about citizenship. The political gerrymandering case asks the Court to consider the constitutionality of partisan gerrymandering. And in these highly polarized times, despite not being about guns or abortion or a border wall, these cases are generating a lot of media interest.
Notably though, Justice Ginsburg commented that for the Court to rule in favor of the census citizenship question, the justices would need to look stare decisis in the face and say "not today" (blogger's creative interpretation of her thoughts, not her actual words). Justice Ginsburg did clearly state that she did not expect the low rate of 5 to 4 decisions this term, thus far at 25%, would hold steady, indicating that there may be several close decisions on the horizon.
Ginsburg on Kavanaugh
In addition to commenting about the sharp division on the Court, Justice Ginsburg also heaped praise upon rookie Justice Brett Kavanaugh for hiring the first ever all-woman law clerk crew. She noted that for the first time in the court's history, there were more women working there than men. But, as Ginsburg noted, the number of women lawyers appearing before the Court is no where near surpassing the number of men, as women made up only a little more than 20% of the arguing attorneys this term.