What the Justices Cited in OT 2018

During the 2018 term, the Supreme Court heard 67 oral arguments leading to decisions. The justices’ opinions cited briefs filed in these cases and law articles approximately 601 times. These citations were from a total of approximately 330 briefs and articles.  The citations were primarily clustered in certain cases. For instance, 30 cases or about…

SCOTUSBlog Stat Pack 2018

In case you haven’t had a chance yet to take a look, our final SCOTUSBlog Stat Pack for the term is complete with 46 pages of data and analyses. I provide some brief commentary at the beginning and I’ll have a follow up post looking at some of these statistics in historical context in the…

261 Days to Gundy

Gundy v. United States was argued back on October 2, 2018. Since it was decided today, it took the justices 261 days since oral argument to render a judgment in the case. The main question in the case was whether the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act’s (SORNA) delegation of authority to the attorney general…

A Wild Ride of a Term with Twenty Decisions Still to Go

The 2018 Supreme Court Term has taken many twists and turns, and there are still 20 decisions the Court has to release in its last week and a half of work before summer recess. Much may change between now and then, but with 55 cases already decided, we have unique and surprising patterns of decision-making among the justices.  This is most apparent in the Court’s 5-4 (or 5-3) decisions, where one vote could shift a decision in a different direction.  

Comparing Cert Stage OSG Efforts Under Obama and Trump

The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) is involved in more Supreme Court litigation on a yearly basis than any other entity. The OSG also plays a unique role in this litigation as its team provides the Court with information, which is oftentimes related to the incumbent administration’s policy views.  This singular position has been…

Where We Stand at the Beginning of June

The Supreme Court released 44 slip opinions through the end of May of the current 2018 Supreme Court term (43 if we subtract our Emulex which the Court dismissed as improvidently granted).  The majority of the decisions have been unanimous although a fair number were decided by 5-4 votes. Here is the count data for…

Thomas Authors Home Depot v. Jackson

Justice Thomas authored the majority opinion in Home Depot v. Jackson released this morning. There are several facets of this decision that are worth noting.  It was a 5-4 decision with the more liberal justices — Ginsburg, Sotomayor, Kagan, and Breyer — in the majority and the other more conservative justices — Roberts, Alito, Gorsuch,…

So Happy Together

With many anticipated decisions still to come in the next month or so, the Supreme Court has already started to define itself in the post-Kennedy era.  Certain patterns have emerged in the justices’ voting that distinguish this Court from past Courts. We are also beginning to see how the newest justices and Trump appointees —…

Competition to Speak During 2018 Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Oral arguments for the 2018 term are now complete. In a term where we have the potential to see heightened polarization on the Court like never before, oral arguments are impacted as well.  One indicator of this harkens back to the previous term where all 5-4 decisions made across ideological lines ended in conservative victories.  So…

Advocates that Drive the Justices’ Votes

Supreme Court scholars often debate the role of lawyers in Supreme Court decision making.  For an attitudinalist, the justices’ preferences make all (or at least most of) the difference.  According to this theory justices will often vote based on their preferred policy direction, which minimizes the role of advocacy.  More recent studies show that such…