Toobin's Take

Court watcher Jeffrey Toobin is launching his new book, The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court, with a round of media interviews. Asked by Time about "the impact of the two new Bush Justices, John Roberts and Samuel Alito," Toobin could not have been more blunt — or correct: "This is a much more conservative institution than it was two years ago. There will be no surprises with the Chief and Justice Alito. They are committed fervent judicial conservatives, and they're not going to change."

Toobin calls the Court "more polarized than it's been in easily a generation. In its current makeup, we are looking forward toward years of 5-4 rulings, with [Justice] Anthony Kennedy usually siding with the conservatives."

Toobin does not believe that Justices Stevens, Ginsburg, and Souter "will be around for more than another few years." If he's right, the next presidential and senatorial elections could not be more important for the future of the Court and Americans' legal rights and interests.

PFAW