Richard Sanders' Defiance, by the Numbers

Dongyun Lee
If shouting "Tyrant" at then-Attorney General Michael Mukasey (over the United States' torture policies) and unapologetically ruling on a case that could later financially benefit him weren't enough, we now have statistical evidence that Richard Sanders is one defiant dude. The folks at the Evergreen Freedom Foundation, a local conservative/libertarian think tank, have crunched the court's numbers for the first half of '09, tracking the number of majority opinions, dissents, etc. that each justice wrote.

Their findings: Sanders authored more dissents than any other justice, and was also the least likely to be in the majority on any ruling. Of course, part of this could also be attributable to his tendency to rule in favor of the Constitutional rights of criminal defendants--a decreasingly popular option among the denizens of the bench. (See, for example, this case.)

Sanders is up for re-election in 2010, which should make for that rare phenomenon--an exciting judicial race.

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