Gold Standard Cites

Publications and citations are essential to the research academic. They help separate experts from novices in a given field. They provide metrics for universities to gauge the quality of their professors’ scholarship. In legal scholarship there is a particularly meaningful measure that distinguishes law from other disciplines: citations in published opinions. Supreme Court citations to…

Will Grammar Rule in Encino Motorcars

The Supreme Court is integrally tied to Congress with its common function of reviewing federal statutes. Sometimes the statutes are more straightforward in their drafting while other times they are more obscure and esoteric. In last week’s oral argument in Encino Motorcars v. Navarro the Court looked at the designation “service advisors” to examine if these individuals are…

Has The Supreme Court Turned a Liberal Tide?

The pieces are in place.  With Justice Scalia’s death the liberals on the Court (both ideologically speaking and by virtue of their appointments by Democratic Presidents) are matched evenly with the Court’s conservatives for the first time in almost half a century.  The last time a majority of Justices appointed by democrats sat on the…

The Justices’ Stances in United States v. Texas

The United States government represented by the Solicitor General is the most frequent party before the U.S. Supreme Court.  These regular appearances will be quite pronounced over the next two weeks.  The Supreme Court hears oral arguments in ten more cases before the end of the Term, and a representative from the Office of the Solicitor…

A Busy Year at the OSG

The United States Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) within the U.S. Department of Justice has its hands full with Supreme Court litigation.  Granted, “busy” is a relative term as the OSG has had fewer Supreme Court filings this Term than it has since 2010 (which will almost assuredly still be the case at the end…

The Regulars: Supreme Court Litigation 2015-2016

(image via Washington Post) Since 2001 the Supreme Court has written full opinions in 67-75 orally argued cases per Term.  We are certain not to see more than 75 this Term and nowhere near the 151 such cases in the 1982 and 1983 Terms, which were high points for the second half of the 20th century. …

The Biggest Supreme Court Cases of the Term

This Term the Supreme Court decided to tackle cases dealing with a variety of hot-button issues ranging from the right to an abortion (or more specifically the right for who can provide an abortion) to the meaning of “one person, one vote.”  These issues affect a profound portion of the American populace.  Correspondingly these cases often make headlines,…

Redistricting Precedent in Light of Evenwel

The Supreme Court decided Evenwel v. Abbott this week – a case with vast implications for legislative districts.  Some see the decision as snubbing Republicans by ruling that states and localities should use total rather than voting population to draw these districts.  Other commentary views the ruling as sufficiently narrow to allow future litigation in the same…

Zubik and the Free Exercise Context

(image via The Atlantic) One of the most anticipated decisions of the current Supreme Court Term is forthcoming in the case Zubik v. Burwell.  Zubik follows in the footsteps of another recent case: Hobby Lobby v. Burwell, 134 S.Ct. 2751 (2014).  Both cases deal with First Amendment challenges under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) to…

A Shift in Oral Arguments: An Update

I recently wrote a post where I looked at Justice Scalia’s final ten oral arguments and compared them to the first ten oral arguments after his death.  There have been several oral arguments since then and with the data from those arguments I am able to expand the timeframe of that analysis.  In this post I examine…