Although this wasn't a criminal case, I was interested to read about this opinion from the Supreme Court yesterday striking down laws that ban out-of-state wine shipments made directly to consumers
. It is one of those rare instances where the Court was asked to determine the constitutionality of a law that, on one hand, seemed to clearly violate one constitutional provision, but on the other hand, seemed to be authorized by another constitutional provision. It's not surprising, then, that it ended up being a 5-4 decision by the Court. But, another thing about the case that makes it interesting is the breakdown of the judges on each side. In the majority are Kennedy, Ginsburg, Breyer, Souter, and Scalia. In the minority were Rhenquist, Stevens, Thomas, and O'Connor. That's a pretty interesting make-up, in my opinion, and goes to show that political labels on judges like liberal and conservative, and even descriptions of judges like "strict constructionist" or "consensus seeker" or "pragmatist" can only tell you so much about how those judges will rule in a particular case.