Have to disagree a tad with friend Brains' original framing (now corrected) of the Strieff case that just gutted the Fourth Amendment even more.
The 'fifth vote' was NOT Tony the Pony Kennedy, it was Stephen Breyer. A Democrat.
Not the first time he's been a squish outside two hot-button social issues. You can go Google.
And, in the second half of this review of her stance on privacy issues, Sotomayor has herself been a squish at times on the Fourth Amendment, as in the Howard case. She's also shown a fair amount of deference to the Imperial Presidency.
The bottom line? This shows that outside two hot-button social issue, Democaratic Supreme Court justices aren't always "reliable" votes. "My Democrats right or wrong" types like to say "oh the SCOTUS" against us Green voters every 4 years. And this lets me throw it back at them.
Yes, the right called Roberts a squish on Obamacare. But, wth his ruling being used to undercut the Commerce Clause, he wasn't really, especially if you add in the Hobby Lobby case.
Yes, on two hot-button social issues. there's five reliable votes, as on the best interpretation of the Second Amendment,. However, on a number of issues besides Fourth Amendment ones, there's plenty of squishiness. I mentioned some issues with the imperial presidency. War on Drugs issues often tempt liberal justices to vote law and order. They also often have little problem letting schools restrict the First Amendment rights of juveniles.
And Tony Kennedy's fifth vote to preserve some abortion rights also undercuts this bullshit.