Is the Court Tracking Right or Roberts Left?

While Supreme Court Justices’ votes are not purely the product of ideological preferences, some of the most important cases the justices decide come down to 5-4 splits along ideological lines. This was especially apparent during the 2017 Supreme Court term.  Even though Chief Justice Roberts was in the conservative camp for many of these split…

Who’s in the Majority?

While few people ever have the opportunity of sitting on the Supreme Court, some similarities exist between this upper echelon of judging and other jobs. One parallel has to do with job satisfaction.  While judges that make it all the way to the Supreme Court should feel accomplished and contented by their achievements, there also…

Amid Record-Breaking Consensus the Justices’ Divisions Still Run Deep

How divided is the current Supreme Court? On the surface the answer appears mixed.  Much conversation over from the past several years surrounding the Court’s decisions has had to do with partisan and ideological divisions among the justices.  These divisions and the Court’s rightward shift appear a reality as evidenced by the systematic victories of…

Looking Back to Assess the Potential Future of Oral Arguments

Over the past several years the Supreme Court has undergone substantial change. Not only has the face of the Court shifted, but so has its center with the departure of Justice Kennedy. Oral arguments offer the only vantage into the interactions and dynamics between the justices and provide some context for how they might vote…

If Ginsburg Leaves it Could be the Left’s Biggest Loss Yet

The saga over Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s health seems to ebb and flow from the headlines almost daily.  Part of the mystery relates to the amount of information shared with the public. We know Ginsburg broke ribs and while providing care for her ribs doctors found malignant lesions in her lungs that were promptly removed. She…

Which Supreme Court Cases Are Generating the Most Interest?

This Supreme Court term, like the past several before it, has been slow out of the gates. It also marks another term with a new justice – this time Justice Kavanaugh.  The justices often find consensus early on in a term and after a largescale change only later to define or redefine their jurisprudential boundaries….

365 Days of Trump and the Supreme Court

How better to wrap up the calendar year than by examining the President’s take on his relationship with the Supreme Court – especially since the Court was one of President Trump’s favorite topics of discussion this past year. The context of these references ranged from from specificity to generalities and from praise to criticism.  Many of the…

The Heightened Importance of the Federal Circuit

This term the Supreme Court will hear arguments in its 100th case decided below by the Federal Circuit. The Court’s recent grant of the case Kisor v. Wilkie for argument also marks the fourth case granted from the Federal Circuit this term. This is by no means a small fraction of the Court’s total caseload….

The Strength of Precedent is in the Justices’ Actions, Not Words

During his Supreme Court confirmation hearings in 2005, now Chief Justice Roberts exposited, “Judges have to have the humility to recognize that they operate within a system of precedent shaped by other judges equally striving to live up to the judicial oath, and judges have to have modesty to be open in the decisional process…