A New Term With Plenty of Hype

This is going to be a big year in front of the Supreme Court. Likely with more fireworks than the last few. Since Justice Scalia passed away during the 2015 Supreme Court Term, the Court has been in an adjustment period. There was the long stint without a ninth justice. Justice Gorsuch was finally confirmed at the tail end of the 2016 term. At the end of his first full term in 2017 Justice Kennedy announced his retirement. This past term was Kavanaugh’s first term on the Court.

Justice Filtered: Plans to Manage Diversity in the Federal Judiciary

Since Donald Trump’s inauguration in 2017, his administration has made major changes to the federal judiciary. This includes filling two Supreme Court seats along with a total of 146 confirmed Article III (federal district, appellate, Supreme Courts, and the court of international trade) judges.  Democrats saw their last Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, fade away…

The “Right” Stuff

The Constitution as originally drafted excluded certain rights. These rights were were instead later added as amendments to the Constitution in the form of the Bill of Rights. Commentary leading up to the establishment of a Constitution found in the Federalist Papers discusses the importance of amendments and the process by which they might be…

A Class of Their Own: The Supreme Court’s Recent Take on Class Actions

Supreme Court decisions tend to impact more than just the individuals named in a lawsuit.  Supreme Court Rule 10, the one official written description of factors that may lead to a higher likelihood of a cert grant focuses primarily on areas with inconsistent court decisions across the country. One of the rationales behind this disparate…

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…