From Dahlia Lithwick, a week or so back, but still an interesting take:
Depending on whether you generally prefer your vitriolic abuse from the left or the right, it’s been a tough week for Chief Justice John Roberts. Having given conservatives the sun, the moon, and the stars for seven years, Roberts suddenly finds himself on the wrong side of everyone from theWashington Post’s Marc Thiessen, to the Wall Street Journal’s John Yoo, to presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, who not only returned the chief justice’s class ring and football jacket yesterday, but also vowed to only date future justices who are, well, a carbon copy of Mitt Romney.
In contrast to all the weeping and wailing that has accompanied what appears to be John Roberts’ single significant defection since joining the court, liberals have been strangely silent—as they are always strangely silent—about the myriad ways in which the liberal justices have disappointed them this term. Oh sure, we get a little eye-roll from Elizabeth Warren over Justice Elena Kagan’s vote in the Medicaid expansion part of the Affordable Care Act cases. But looked at in its entirety, the 2011 term was yet another festival of defections by assorted members of the so-called liberal wing.
Think about it: The court’s liberals voted to find a ministerial exception to employment discrimination laws for religious schools and churches; ruled against the EPA in a wetlands case; and, as Adam Liptak points out, the court’s liberals pretty much crushed the Obama administration again this term. Yet you don’t find liberals burning their Stephen Breyer Pokémon cards, in part because liberals don’t have Stephen Breyer Pokémon cards in the first place. We can’t really be bothered.