# Supreme Court Ideology Project

## Trend Lines

The graphs below displays the updated probability, after each new
vote, of the most recently appointed justices being either the most extreme justice
on the court or more extreme than the justices they replaced.

At each iteration, we learn more about Justices Roberts and Alito
relative to the other justices. The solid trend lines plot the
probability at each round that a given justice is the most
conservative. The dotted lines represent the probability that the
justice is more conservative than was Justice O’Connor.
The dashed lines represent the probability that the
justice is more conservative than was Chief Justice Rehnquist.

As one might expect, Justice Alito’s position does not change
noticeably during the earlier votes because he was not casting votes
at that time. His position does change slightly as our beliefs about
the other justices change.

The next graph displays analogous information for Justices
Sotomayor and Kagan. The solid trend lines plot the probability at
each round that a given justice is the most liberal sitting justice.
The dotted lines represent the probability that a justice is more
liberal than was Justice Souter, whom Justice Sotomayor replaced. The
dashed lines represent the probability that a justice is more liberal
than was Justice Kagan replaced. As with Justice Alito in the
previous graph, little change until Justices Sotomayor and Kagan begin
casting votes.