How can Justices be left or right leaning?

Hearing the justices speak and hearing commentators discussing how certain judges are left or right got me thinking about this again. How can a justice be politically biased? I thought they judged on the merits of the cases before them.

But, then we have the grilling that potential justices are put through to become judges and even there the questions don’t make sense. I guess I just don’t get it. Maybe I watched too many Star Trek episodes and now I think that somewhere or in some discipline there is a cold but accurate Vulcan logic being applied. No, there is just a bell curve and most of us are in the middle.

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