60 years of growing polarization at the Supreme Court

The Washington Post's Katie Park, Annie Daniel and Robert Barnes published a fascinating graphic Monday, pulling back the curtain on the Supreme Court's unanimous decisions this term. The justices were unanimous on two-thirds of their decisions, but there was less agreement on the reasoning behind those rulings, as the graphic shows.


Similarly, cases that split the court, which were decided by a 5-4 majority, dipped this year to 13 percent of total cases. But behind this dip is a steady rise in divided rulings over the past 60 years.

These numbers show that the political polarization that has gridlocked Congress and divided the American public has also made its way into the halls of the nation's highest legal authority.

Christopher Ingraham writes about politics, drug policy and all things data. He previously worked at the Brookings Institution and the Pew Research Center.

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