“The court again showed deep skepticism toward efforts to stretch statutes and rules to expand class actions and liability based on new and creative theories,” he said.
The court showed both more unanimity, in nearly half its cases, and more 5-4 splits, nearly 30 percent of the time, than the average in recent years, according to scotusblog.com.
Those splits often were based on ideology, but not always. Notably, in three cases Scalia aligned himself with Justice Elena Kagan, Ginsburg and Sotomayor. In those instances, including the DNA evidence case, liberal Justice Stephen Breyer was the fifth vote for the majority.
When looking at the four newest justices — two conservative Republicans and two liberal Democrats — the division is stark. In 5-4 cases, even when the court is not strictly split along ideological lines, Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito almost always disagreed with Sotomayor and Kagan.