The Supreme Court, under Chief Justice John Roberts, has moved to the right. How far to the right? This far to the right, via the New York Times:
[SCOTUS has] "not only moved to the right but also became the most conservative one in living memory, based on an analysis of four sets of political science data...
"If the Roberts court continues on the course suggested by its first five years, it is likely to allow a greater role for religion in public life, to permit more participation by unions and corporations in elections and to elaborate further on the scope of the Second Amendment's right to bear arms. Abortion rights are likely to be curtailed, as are affirmative action and protections for people accused of crimes."
From the court that brought us Citizens United. There goes America.
And yet, President Obama is hesitant to put up plainly liberal nominees, as has been made obvious by his two choices to date (notwithstanding how their opinions may play out in future rulings, assuming Elena Kagan is confirmed).
Playing it down the middle is the president's trademark, but when you have a conservative court, adding progressive justices would merely compensate, not swing the court to the left. "Safe, middle of the road" judges will perpetuate the status quo, already further right now that Justice Stevens has retired... and the status quo is, and will remain, "the most conservative Supreme Court in living memory".