NPR

Ginsburg Passing The Liberal Torch: Takeaways From A Big Supreme Court Term

The new swing vote on the court is the conservative chief justice; Trump's appointees are going different directions; and Justice Ginsburg appears to be handing off the liberal torch to Justice Kagan.
Supreme Court justices Brett Kavanaugh (left) and Neil Gorsuch attend the Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony at the White House last year. Source: Saul Loeb

This past term, the Supreme Court decided cases dealing with thorny issues such as a citizenship question on the U.S. census, political gerrymandering and the separation of church and state.

Here are six takeaways from what happened, including a look ahead to what's coming next term:

1. Chief Justice John Roberts is now the swing vote.

Roberts finally has a five-justice conservative majority to march the Supreme Court to the right. But that is sometimes at war with his desire to protect the court's institutional integrity and its nonpartisan image.

Roberts, in fact, rarely deviates from conservative

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