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.

Where the Top Democratic Candidates Stand on the Supreme Court

[Wordcloud from the 3rd Democratic Debate Transcript] Here is a look at which Democratic candidates are on top of the polls from Real Clear Politics. The top candidates plans for the Supreme Court and other federal courts are described below. Biden: Plans to Keep the Supreme Court as is.  No mention of plan for courts on main…

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…