Illustrates the folly of trying to pin meaningful labels on judges or Supreme Court Justices.
In Schaffer v. Weast the Court held, 6-2 (Roberts not participating) that the "burden of proof" is on parents who make claims against public school systems under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The IDEA is a federal statute that requires public schools to provide individual education programs to each child suffering from a disability under the Federal Americans with Disablilties Act. As you might suspect, the IDEA is silent on the point.
Justice O'Conner wrote for the majority, and was joined by Justices Thomas, Scalia, Stephens, Kennedy and Souter. Justices Ginsburg and Breyer dissented. Affirmed was the decision of a Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals panel. So far, so predictable, right?
But who do you think wrote a dissenting opinion in the Fourth Circuit, the reasoning of which was adopted by Justice Ginsburg?
An anomolous liberal Fourth Circuit Judge? No, indeed. None other than that paragon of conservatism, the one judge that all "real conservatives" had in first place in the handicapping leading to the nomination of Judge Alito, Judge Michael Luttig.