Justices, Tenure, and What to Expect Moving Forward

A ninth Justice sits on the Supreme Court today for oral arguments for the first time in over a year.  Justice Gorsuch at 49 years of age has the potential to fill the seat previously occupied by Justice Scalia for years to come.  Gorsuch is on the younger end of the age spectrum for Supreme…

Below the Surface of the Gorsuch Confirmation Hearings

Justice Gorsuch was confirmed to the Supreme Court after a relatively quick and seamless confirmation process.  Much went into this process, however, and even though these hearings have become more or less a formality, they are a process that involves much preparation and an extensive time commitment.  Justice Gorsuch’s answers to questions were prototypical of…

How Will Gorsuch Decide on Cases from the Supreme Court’s April Calendar?

Recently confirmed Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch will be thrown into the middle of the 2017 oral argument season with the Court’s April hearings calendar beginning on April 17th.  One of the first questions that has already generated speculation is how Gorsuch will rule on cases this Term. This post adds some insight into how…

The Most Powerful Justices Across Time

Article III of the U.S. Constitution both limits the reach of the Supreme Court and at the same time gives the Justices great power.  As the only branch of the federal government with life tenure, the judicial branch maneuvers oftentimes outside of public spotlight and so judges are not subject to the same public pressures…

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…