Is the Roberts Court the Least Productive Court of All Time?

The Supreme Court was not always the powerful institution is it today. The original lack of power was part of the Court’s institutional design. Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federal Paper #78, “…the judiciary is beyond comparison the weakest of the three departments of power; that it can never attack with success either of the other…

Ruling on the Second Amendment

Why is the Court’s 2nd Amendment decision this term such a huge deal? This would be the fourth time the Court reviews the constitutionality of a law under the Second Amendment since 1900 and the fifth time ever. Three of those four decisions including the present one will take place under the Roberts Court. The…

Do Dissents of the Past Foreshadow Dissents on the Current Court?

Many dissents and powerful ones. That is what we are inevitably going to see at the end of the Supreme Court term as the justices tend to have strong views when dealing with such hot-button issues as those on the Court’s plate. We have many examples of this from the past. One is Rucho v….

Martinez-Ramirez and the Direction of 6th Amendment Rights

Most of the Supreme Court discussion today is focused on the Shinn v. Martinez-Ramirez case which narrowed the room for criminal defendants to plead ineffective assistance of counsel under the 6th Amendment. It did so by holding that when an attorney at a post-conviction hearing does not raise a claim of ineffective counsel at trial,…

SCOTUS Housekeeping

Since we’re nearing June and The Supreme Court term is slated to end on June 27th, I’ve been thinking lately about what the Court has left to do before then. Actually, there’s quite a bit of work to do. First, there are big decisions – the Dobbs abortion case, NY Rifle gun decision, Kennedy v….

Scalito

Justice Alito is often compared to Justice Scalia in his level of conservativism. In my opinion there are some significant differences between the two. A recent piece by Aziz Huq in Politico describes, “[Alito’s] early, subtly disparaging nickname, ‘Scalito,’ suggests he is a mere mini-me clone of the late Justice Antonin Scalia.”  The data show…

Was it Ever Really Roberts’ Court?

It has been a long two weeks for the Supreme Court.  Since the leak of Alito’s opinion in the Dobbs abortion case, several of the Supreme Court Justices have come forward offering their thoughts on the leak. According to the Washington Post, “Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. called the leak ‘absolutely appalling.’ The Supreme…

The Justice Behind the Dobbs Draft Opinion

Justice Alito, one of two Supreme Court nominees by President George W. Bush, has turned out to be one of the most certain conservative votes on the Court. Alito’s draft majority opinion of Dobbs v. Jackson was released by Politico last week shining a spotlight on the very real possibility that the Court will overturn…

Week of 4/25/2022 In Review

(1) The week began with a few statistical takeaways from the Bremerton oral arguments: Justice Kavanaugh spoke the most followed by Justices Breyer and Sotomayor. CJ Roberts spoke least overall. Justice Alito only spoke during Respondent’s turn and Justices Kagan and Sotomayor only spoke during Petitioner’s turn. If we focus on the polarity or positive/negative…

Trump’s Youngest Judicial Nominee and the Mask Mandate

U.S. District Court Judge Kathryn Mizelle struck down the mask mandate this week for domestic travel, bringing polarized reactions from the right and left sides of the political spectrum. Since two of the main talking points surrounding Judge Mizelle seem to be her age (35) and her ABA qualification rating (Not Qualified) it seemed apropos…

Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson Text Stats

The first abortion-related decision of the 2021 Supreme Court term, Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson, examined the following issue: The State of Texas adopted a law banning abortions at approximately six weeks of pregnancy, in clear violation of this Court’s precedents holding that a State cannot prohibit abortion at a point before viability. To try…

Arguments in U.S. v. Washington

Here’s your daily dose of SCOTUS Analytics. Today the justices heard arguments in US v. Washington about Whether a state workers’ compensation law that applies exclusively to federal contract workers who perform services at a specified federal facility is barred by principles of intergovernmental immunity. Malcolm Stewart argued for the US and Tera Heintz, from…