Wine makes odd friendships

Judges in the majority on today's Supreme Court decision holding that states can't discriminate against out-of-state wine merchants: Kennedy, Scalia, Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer.

Judges in dissent: Thomas, Rehnquist, O'Connor, Stevens.

If one has a strong commitment to the idea of liberal judges who vote one way and conservatives who vote another, it would be quite odd to see Stevens with the conservatives and the conservative/ centrist O'Connor, while Scalia joins with three of the nominal liberals and the conservative/centrist Kennedy. Of course, Linda Greenhouse wrote an article my junior year in high school about how Kennedy is the key vote on the Supreme Court, and she hasn't been proven wrong many times since. I also doubt that article was the first of its genre, though I know its the first I was aware of. Then again, one opinion doesn't disprove a trend.

It's also an interesting example of the court being quite divided even on issues which aren't subject to much
public (as distinguished from legal) controversy. I haven't looked at the opinions yet, but I'm somewhat surprised this didn't feature a Scalia opinion concurring in the judgment. Given the lineup, I'd expect the majority to use reasoning that Scalia doesn't accept.

Update: Despite a timestamp nine minutes later, I had not read this PrawfsBlawg post making my main point until after I posted.