Patterns of Eight Justices: Will They Persist with a New Court Member?

The Supreme Court has had eight members for over a year now.  In that time the Justices authored seventy-seven majority opinions.  Of those opinions sixty-eight were signed.  Through this period there have been some interesting idiosyncrasies from the Justices that we haven’t seen in the past.  We have seen new potential voting coalitions as well…

What Recent SCOTUS Confirmations Tell Us About the Gorsuch Hearings

Supreme Court confirmation hearings involve much pomp and circumstance.  Recent nominees including Gorsuch (thus far) shy away from directly answering substantive policy questions, generally resorting to the retort that they do not wish to speak on issues that might come before the Court.  For the senators, part of the confirmation game is strategic.  Prior to…

The (Not So) New Face of the OSG

Surprisingly, or perhaps not so surprisingly, the search for the new Solicitor General led to one of the individuals discussed as a likely candidate early on in the process.  In the interim, a bevy of names were floated as possibilities including attorneys Chuck Cooper, George Conway, and Miguel Estrada. But as George Conway’s name faded…

Taking Care of Business

The Supreme Court tackles fewer cases by the year. SCOTUSBlog’s statistics as reported by First Mondays Podcast show that the Court has also been slower in writing signed opinions this term than in recent terms. What is leading to these changes? One clear anomaly from the Court’s norm is the length of time the Court…

When Justices Recuse, and When they Refuse

By Samuel Morse Over the summer, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg made the following comments about then presidential-candidate Donald Trump: “He is a faker…He has no consistency about him. He says whatever comes into his head at the moment.  He really has an ego. …How has he gotten away with not turning over his tax returns?…

Attorney Arguments 2016/2017

The Supreme Court released its final argument calendar of the term with thirteen arguments slated for April. Although this term started out slow, most likely due to the Justices’ apprehension at the possibility of reaching equal divisions in cases, case grants picked up pace especially after the presidential election. Though we won’t see a new…

Scaling Judge Gorsuch’s Opinions: Hints of a Possible Centrist

Two words that are regularly thrown around when discussing the Supreme Court (and politics generally) are “liberal” and “conservative.”  On this note, recently a question that has gained much traction has to do with how liberal or conservative a Justice Judge Gorsuch will be if confirmed to the Court.  A large problem with these terms…

What’s at Stake in a Supreme Court Ruling in the Trump Immigration Battle?

The Supreme Court’s role as a co-equal branch of the federal government may soon be put to the test.  While various issues relating to President Trump’s decisions are percolating in lower courts, one that has received much attention recently is his Executive Order on Immigration.  Yesterday the Ninth Circuit heard oral arguments regarding the temporary…

Expectations for Vote Timing on the Gorsuch Nomination

Post by Samuel Morse Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch has a fairly pristine record and is himself one of the least controversial nominees to the Court in recent memory. This however will not be enough to make for a smooth confirmation.  After Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to act on Merrick Garland’s nomination, there…

Judge Gorsuch by the Numbers and Decisions

Speculation is abound regarding President Trump’s pick for Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch. Questions range from: “Who is he?” and “How will he rule” to the more specific “Will he help overturn Roe v. Wade.” While answers to the last two questions are anyone’s guess, answers to the first may shed light on all…