Thursday, July 07, 2005

Patterico Gets Results

A week or so ago Patterico busted the LA Times for sloppy reporting on the influence of Sandra Day O'Connor in 5-4 decisions,

L.A. Times Needs a New Fact-Checker for Those Editorials
Today’s L.A. Times editorial on Justice O’Connor opens with this statement: One fact sums up Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s pivotal role on the Supreme Court and the enormity of her resignation — she alone was in the majority of every one of the court’s 13 5-4 decisions this last term.

Wow. That’s really impressive. Except for one small problem . . . there were 24 5-4 decisions this Term, not 13 — and Justice O’Connor was in the minority in quite a few of those cases.

Today, the Times responded to Patterico by issuing a correction,

Retiring justice – An editorial Saturday on Justice Sandra Day O’Connor said the
Supreme Court in its last session had 13 5-4 decisions and that O’Connor had
been in the majority on all of them. The number of 5-4 decisions during the
court’s 2004-2005 session exceeded 13 (the number is up to 24, counting 5-3
decisions with Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist not voting, and other
vagaries). O’Connor sided with the minority in a number of these 5-4
splits. To read her dissenting opinions in two such cases, involving
eminent domain and the constitutionality of executing minors, go to

Just the latest example of the pajama wearing, great unwashed among us (sorry Patterico) busting the professionals.


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