Cameron and Kastellec in Washington Post: Conservatives may control the Supreme Court until the 2050s

Dec. 14, 2021

Charles Cameron and Jonathan Kastellec, writing in The Washington Post's Monkey Cage (Conservatives may control the Supreme Court until the 2050s), bring their research to bear on the future of the Supreme Court. Their simulation suggests that conservative justices will control the court for at least the next three decades. Their results are "unambiguous" -- not until the 2050s do they find an equal chance the court’s median justice will be liberal or conservative.


Of course, all these calculations are based on assumptions, not certainties. It’s certainly possible that the court will become more liberal sooner than we project — but only if several of the conservative justices unexpectedly retire or die when there’s a Democratic president.

It’s also possible that Democrats could alter the Supreme Court by imposing term limits, adding more justices, or some other shift. After the oral arguments in Dobbs, many Democratic senators said the time had come to consider reforming the court. But with the House and Senate so closely divided and midterm elections approaching, such changes seem very unlikely.

Roe may be just the first of many liberal landmark precedents to fall in the coming years.

Charles Cameron is professor of politics and public affairs and Jonathan P. Kastellec (@jkastellec) is associate professor of politics at Princeton University. Both are CSDP faculty associates.