Some More About This Term

This short post contains data about the questions the Supreme Court seeks to resolve this term. It contains a chart of the most frequent words in the questions after common English words like “the,” “and,” and “of” and words with two or fewer characters were eliminated. Next is a chart of the top two or…

About this Term: OT 2019

Even though not all briefs are filed in cases that will be argued before the Supreme Court this term, the interest level in the Court’s cases is at an apex.  There was a lot of hype leading into this term, as it is the first where all nine sitting justices have at least a term…

Amicus Brief in Google v. Oracle

James Daily of Skopos Labs and I filed an amicus brief in Google v. Oracle today with the help of Elie Herman of Wilson Elser. We take a unique approach of looking at what would happen if Supreme Court Justices were limited in the language they use in opinions as a comparison for what could…

How Chief Justice Roberts Articulates His Ethos Through His Year End Reports

Chief Justice John Roberts released an impassioned Year End Report on December 31, 2019, which generated much commentary.  The New York Times, for instance wrote about the Chief Justice’s calls for an independent federal judiciary.  The Wall Street Journal examined Justice Roberts’ warnings against rumor and false information.  These values inherent in the Chief’s report…

The Beginning of the 2019 Term and How It Stacks Up

June is traditionally the month when the public focuses on the Supreme Court.  On this note, many of the Court’s most prolific and politically tinged decisions in recent years were rendered in previous Junes. These include Rucho v. Common Cause and Department of Commerce v. New York (the census case) last term, Janus v. State, County, and…

Supreme Court Justice T.V. News Coverage

Supreme Court Justices live dual lives. On one hand they predominately manage to stay out of the limelight while actually doing their jobs. Even with pressure to the contrary, the justices have managed to keep cameras out of the Court, and to limit the release of audio recordings of oral arguments to the Fridays after the…

The Recent Role of Separate Opinions

In a 2015 article for the Washington Post reviewing Melvin Urofsky’s book Dissent and the Supreme Court, the David Cole wrote, “What determines a great dissent…is not necessarily the power of the argument but the shifting tides of history…History, not rhetoric or cogency, determines whether a dissent wins out in the long run. Yet by articulating a…

Is Oral Argument Talking Time All It’s Cut Out to Be?

Supreme Court oral arguments are not all what they seem. While at first blush they may appear to be an opportunity for attorneys to make their arguments before the judges, they often become instances for the justices to test out their theories of a given case and to gauge other justices’ positions on given topics….

Changes to the Federal Courts: Trump’s Most Significant and Lasting Legacy

The current presidency has been one of the biggest political roller coasters of modern times. Terms like “emoluments” that have not been bandied about in several hundreds of years have become verbatim.  Seldom is there a time when the cover story in any major news media does not involve President Trump.  While calls for impeachment…

The Singular Relationship Between the D.C. Circuit and the Supreme Court

With the Supreme Court term about to begin many eyes will be on a small handful of cases. The interest in these cases generally surrounds certain salient case issues. In this respect this term has a lot to offer. The Court will review the federal government’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy. It will look at the constitutionality…

A Whole New Ballgame: How Trump’s First Time Judges are Unlike Anything We’ve Seen Before

The President is transforming the federal courts in a flurry unlike anything we’ve seen in the past. Since he began his tenure in office, President Trump made revamping the courts a top priority.  Even before elected he made this one of his most prominent campaign pledges. This started with his promise to fill Justice Scalia’s seat on the Supreme Court at the commencement of his presidency and has continued at a rapid pace ever since.