A study by two U.S. Supreme Court experts finds that justices vote on decisions in favor of the president who appointed them more often than with subsequent presidents, even if the latter chief executives belong to the same party as their appointing president.
In the Washington Post, reporter Robert Barnes summarizes the findings by law professors Eric Posner of the University of Chicago and Lee Epstein of Washington University in St. Louis.
Barnes notes, “Judicial independence is a mainstay of American democracy, but politics plays a vital role in how a justice gets his or her job. Presidents look for those with similar views and values. A president, after all, can serve no more than eight years, while his nominees to the court stay for decades.”