league Justice Scalia and announced to the world that, with respect to the key policy issues of abortion and separation of church and state, the efforts of Presidents Reagan and Bush to reshape the Supreme Court had gone for naught.
Future presidents who wish to shape the Supreme Court's composition in order to advance their policy preferences might draw several lessons from the example of the Rehnquist Court. If the suddenly more moderate judicial conservatives, such as Justice Kennedy, are viewed as inconsistent or as having changed their philosophical viewpoints, then future presidents might simply resign themselves to the lesson learned by Dwight Eisenhower in the appointments of Chief Justice Warren and Justice Brennan: Justices' future decision-making behavior is unpredictable. However, if a president looked more deeply into the Rehnquist Court to see how the human beings with black robes interacted with, and reacted to, each other, the president might recognize a new lesson from the example of Ronald Reagan's appointment of Justice Scalia: It is not sufficient to appoint a justice who is intelligent, creative, articulate, and forceful. Because the Supreme Court's decisions are produced by the persuasive interactions of the justices, effective justices must recognize and accept that decision making within a collegial court involves strategic interactions, cooperation, compromise, and the other elements of political behavior. Despite public denials by judicial officers, these very elements characterize human beings' actions in courts as well as in other authoritative institutions.