What to Expect From Kavanaugh’s 1st Term

The tense waiting is now over as Justice Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court on October 6th 2018.  One of the big stories following Kavanaugh though is his low rate of public approval.  This low rate of approval was apparent soon after Kavanaugh was nominated.  Not only this, but as the figure below shows, Kavanaugh was…

The Wide Arc of the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court now hears around 70 arguments a term and each case tends to have issues unique from others on the Court’s docket.  After the Court’s merits docket is assembled each term though, similarities between cases become apparent and these similarities may present an area of law where the Court is more invested and…

The Hottest Bench in Town

The practice of Supreme Court oral arguments has changed dramatically over time. Once multi-day events, Supreme Court oral arguments now typically take place in a one hour time span, only with some exceptions granted by the justices.  Not only has the time allotted to arguments changed but so has the justices’ engagement.  This increased engagement has…

Supreme Court All-Stars 2013-2017

Success in the Supreme Court is hard to define because it can be viewed in a variety of ways. Few attorneys have the opportunity to try cases there and even fewer argue multiple cases.  Part of success therefore is simply getting a case or cases to the Court. Once the Court agrees to hear a…

Will Kavanaugh’s Confirmation Hearings Provide Any Useful Information?

Supreme Court nominees’ confirmation hearings involve much dialogue between the nominees and senators.  In two chaotic days of hearings for Judge Kavanaugh, we have seen a full spectrum of behavior from both sides of the aisle.  Showboating aside, this is a genuinely important hearing for a crucial seat on the Court and hence emotions are running…

Without a Swing It’s Game Over for Democrats

The Democrats are in a precarious position in the latest battle for a seat on the Supreme Court. Many Democrats oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination and will not vote to confirm him. Others are requesting that the Senate hold off on voting on Kavanaugh’s confirmation until the National Archives produces the record setting million or so pages…

Building a Merits Docket in 2018

The Supreme Court hears its first oral argument of the 2018 term on the first Monday in October (Monday October 1st).  Before then, on September 24th, the justices will sit down to what is known as the “long conference” where the justices will review petitions for the first time since June.  The number of petitions…

The Big Business Court

The current Supreme Court is unabashedly friendly towards big business. How friendly? If the Court’s trajectory continues, perhaps as friendly as any Court dating back to the Lochner-era where laissez-faire policies exuded from the Court’s rulings. Prominent scholars, most notably Epstein, Landes, and Posner found empirical support for the proposition that the current Court is more pro-business…

A Little Change Will Do You Good: Oral Argument Interruptions 2017

Although female justices have only served on the Supreme Court since 1981, a relatively short slice of the Court’s history, gender imbalances have existed in oral argument interruptions for many years with female justices bearing the brunt of them. These imbalances were identified in a blog post on Empirical SCOTUS with subsequent commentary from Stephanie…

Indirectly Inferring Kavanaugh’s Positions in Abortion Cases

A question on much of the public’s mind seems to be how Judge Kavanaugh will vote in abortion cases if confirmed to the Supreme Court, and more specifically if he will vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.  Kavanaugh has only written a decision in one case regarding abortion — Garza v. Hargan. In the decision he did…

Get Ready for A Confirmation Battle More Intense Than Most

Even though the Supreme Court is not in session it is far from out of the news. With the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh, much of the conversation now surrounds expectations for the a fierce confirmation battle – possibly one of the most fierce we have ever seen.  Some speculate that notwithstanding the drama surrounding the failure…

Getting Rid of those Amicus Blues

Good writing makes a world of difference in appellate practice.  In an era where some scholars question whether oral arguments have very much utility, briefs, and especially amicus briefs, are thought to play a unique role in Supreme Court decision making.  The Court receives briefs in large numbers, with amicus briefs leading the way.  Cases with broad national repercussions may garner…