The question I posed in my title has been asked before. When I went to google.com and typed in the beginning of that question, the end came up, indicating that others had thought to search for the same thing. So I proceeded to click on a link or two and read other thoughts that had been previously written. This link gives a nice summary of each justice sitting on the Court at the time. And fascinating, but the Supreme Court make up was majority conservative in the early 1970s. This tends to turn on its head the supposition that a conservative Supreme Court might rule in a consistently opposite manner than a court made up of more liberal thinkers.

As Justice Ginsburg noted, "In that year, 1971, the Court turned in a new direction. The Justices begin to respond favorably to the arguments of equal rights advocates who urged a more encompassing interpretation of the equality principle, one that would better serve U.S. society as it had evolved since the founding of the nation in the late 18th century."

My supposition has always been that, once placed on the Court, justices tend to make their own decisions using their vast experiences and knowledge to guide them. Obviously, people are concerned that individual biases might come to play. But nine justices seems to me to be a historically reliable number which, on balance, usually results in the right decisions.