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People often talk about the Chief Justice, Justice Kagan, and Justice Breyer as the institutionalists on the modern Supreme Court. And that’s true, they are. Those Justices care about the Court as an institution and the Court’s reputation. They do not want people to look at the Court as a set of politicians in robes; and they do not want people to see judges as having ideological or partisan agendas. That is how they think of themselves, and they are willing to make compromises to maintain that image of the Court, and to set aside their personal beliefs in order to preserve the legitimacy of the Court. But several of Justice Kennedy’s decisions about abortion show that he too has a commitment to institutionalism.


Work published prior to Prof. Litman joining the Mlaw faculty.