Not only has the Supreme Court thoroughly abandoned a decades-old tradition of upholding the liberal gains of the 1950s and 1960s, it has become the premier bulwark of conservatism now that Democrats have retaken Congress and the White House is weakened to the point of impotency.
The U.S. Supreme Court's split rulings this week on the public display of the Ten Commandments is likely to lead to further confusion on what's permissible and what's not, analysts say.
The high court determined that some monuments cast a religious message and therefore violate the separation of church and state.
But taken together, the rulings on two separate but related cases are likely to be viewed as an endorsement of public displays of the Ten Commandments, as long as they are erected with a secular objective.
That means many of the current displays across the country will be allowed to stay, analysts say, and it's unclear whether more will be constructed.