Many have claimed that Justice Anthony Kennedy's votes in key issues have been motivated by the Greenhouse Effect, which is
is the name of a phenomenon popularized by D.C. Appeals Court Judge Laurence Silberman referring to federal judges whose rulings are guided solely by their need for adulation from legal reporters such as Linda Greenhouse of the New York Times. The idea is that once confirmed, justices become desperate to be invited to the right cocktail parties and conform their views to those of the liberal intelligentsia.
Whether the Times has influenced Kennedy's views is not something I am qualified to answer. I did notice something very interesting in a recent Times editorial. In arguing why it felt the Court wrongly decided Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber (an employment discrimination case), the editors singled out Justice Kennedy:
It is disturbing that Anthony Kennedy, the court’s swing justice, cast the deciding vote in favor of gutting a key part of the Civil Rights Act.
Whether the Times' effort to shame Justice Kennedy into voting the "right" way is working is an open issue. Whether the Times is engaging in a plot to influence Justice Kennedy is now a closed case.