Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Plotting a Newer Court

The Washington Post has again published a similarity matrix of Supreme Court Justices voting. Three years ago I posted about using a multidimensional scaling procedure to convert this similarity into a visual plot. Since that time Rehnquist and Souter have left the Court replaced by Roberts and Sotomayor. Before Elena Kagan completes the Senate's review process to replace Justice Stevens, here is a plot of the newer Court. Again an arbitrary algebraic sign places Justices Stevens, Sotomayor, Breyer, and Ginsburg on the left of our plot and Justices Scalia, Thomas, Roberts and Alito on the right. Again, Justice Kennedy is the most centrist justice falling just a little right of center.

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