A Record Set by the OSG During the Obama Years

The Solicitor General’s Office (OSG) has a special relationship with the Supreme Court.  In the role of adviser the Solicitor General is often referred to as the 10th Justice.  The OSG enjoys much higher than average success in bringing cases to the Court and is even asked to give its opinions on whether the Court should…

Attorneys in the Clutch

Earlier this year I ran a blog post on the most powerful justices across time, which focused on their decisions in cases with single vote margin majorities.  That post accounted for the decision makers, but it did not consider the attorneys whose arguments factor into the justices’ decision calculi.  This post takes a look at…

The Strategic Right – Oral Arguments at the Beginning of the 2017 Term

Several possible facets of the justices’ new oral argument strategies became apparent during the first week of oral arguments for the 2017 Supreme Court term.  The Court began with a series of high-profile cases – perhaps none as discussed and hotly contested as Gill v. Whitford which looks at gerrymandered voting districts in Wisconsin.  The…

Fast Out of the Gates (SCOTUS’ October 2017 Oral Arguments)

On October 2nd, the Supreme Court will be back in session with the first oral arguments of 2017.  Since Justice Scalia passed away in February 2016 the justices have taken a light caseload and generally have not heard cases that would lead to great rifts among themselves.  This non-divisive set of cases during the 2016…

Petitions to Watch For From SCOTUS’ Long Conference

Each October before the Supreme Court begins its term, the justices meet for the “long conference” to review the Court’s agenda.  The justice held this conference for the upcoming term two days ago on September 25th.  During this conference the justices meet to discuss petitions to the Court for the upcoming term.  This is the…

Top Firms’ Supreme Court Business: Some Stay Close While Others Stay Away

Multiple services annually rank law firms along several dimensions and according to various measures.  Even with these rankings there is little objective gauge of a firm’s quality and rightfully so. There are many aspects that go into a firm’s relative quality and some are easier to gauge than others.  One thing that these rankings almost…

Law Schools, Judges, and Government Attorneys

This post extends beyond the Supreme Court to look at which law schools have been most successful placing current government attorneys and sitting federal judges around the nation (thank you Jack Metzler / @SCOTUSplaces for the idea).  The positions examined include United States Attorneys, sitting federal judges, and state attorney generals and solicitor generals (AGs,…

The Court’s Recent Lack of Support for the Federal Government’s Agenda

This is the first of a series of two posts examining the federal government’s litigation in the Supreme Court. While this post looks at the last several terms of government litigation, the next will analyze the government’s upcoming cases.   The federal government, through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), is the most frequent…

The Court’s Most Cited Decisions of 2016

One trope that was often repeated this past Supreme Court term was that the Court did not take on a particularly exciting caseload.  Evidence for this comes in the form of the unprecedented level of agreement among the justices compounded by the eight justice composition for most of the term that wished to avoid 4-4…

Crunching Data From this Past Term

It has been almost two months since the completion of the Supreme Court’s 2016 term. Scholars and analysts have pored over Court’s decisions. SCOTUSBlog released its Stat Pack which contains many interesting statistical trends and details from the term.  Each term, a group of professors now organized through the Washington University in St. Louis School of…

Loud Voices From Below

The Supreme Court only takes a small fraction of cases petitioned to it every year and there is no perfect formula for ensuring a case makes its way to the Court.  There are, however, several signals that can help a case along the way.  Much of what matters has to do with uniformity in case…