SCOTUSBlog Interim Stat Pack April 2020

The Interim Stat Pack is now up on SCOTUSBlog’s website. Here are some key takeaways: The last time the Supreme Court closed its doors to the public due to an epidemic was during the Spanish flu outbreak of 1918. Through March of this term, the court has decided fewer cases by signed opinion than it has…

Locating Weak Causal Strands in the Justices’ Opinions

In the introduction to the eye opening work on the Supreme Court certiorari process Deciding to Decide, author H.W. Perry summarizes the Court’s lack of institutional transparency. Perry wrote, “Although some rules are published, most of the internal procedures are by consensus, are unpublished, and are frequently unknown” (p. 17). Perry goes on, “We on…

Things We Haven’t Seen Before at the Outset of a Roberts Court Term

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is traditionally one of the most active justices at the beginning of each term. It should come as no surprise therefore that she authored three of the Court’s first 13 decisions for the 2019 Supreme Court term . She tends to have the backing of the Court in these early term decisions…

Supreme Court Justice T.V. News Coverage

Supreme Court Justices live dual lives. On one hand they predominately manage to stay out of the limelight while actually doing their jobs. Even with pressure to the contrary, the justices have managed to keep cameras out of the Court, and to limit the release of audio recordings of oral arguments to the Fridays after the…

Is Oral Argument Talking Time All It’s Cut Out to Be?

Supreme Court oral arguments are not all what they seem. While at first blush they may appear to be an opportunity for attorneys to make their arguments before the judges, they often become instances for the justices to test out their theories of a given case and to gauge other justices’ positions on given topics….

The Singular Relationship Between the D.C. Circuit and the Supreme Court

With the Supreme Court term about to begin many eyes will be on a small handful of cases. The interest in these cases generally surrounds certain salient case issues. In this respect this term has a lot to offer. The Court will review the federal government’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy. It will look at the constitutionality…

A New Term With Plenty of Hype

This is going to be a big year in front of the Supreme Court. Likely with more fireworks than the last few. Since Justice Scalia passed away during the 2015 Supreme Court Term, the Court has been in an adjustment period. There was the long stint without a ninth justice. Justice Gorsuch was finally confirmed at the tail end of the 2016 term. At the end of his first full term in 2017 Justice Kennedy announced his retirement. This past term was Kavanaugh’s first term on the Court.

A Class of Their Own: The Supreme Court’s Recent Take on Class Actions

Supreme Court decisions tend to impact more than just the individuals named in a lawsuit.  Supreme Court Rule 10, the one official written description of factors that may lead to a higher likelihood of a cert grant focuses primarily on areas with inconsistent court decisions across the country. One of the rationales behind this disparate…

What the Justices Cited in OT 2018

During the 2018 term, the Supreme Court heard 67 oral arguments leading to decisions. The justices’ opinions cited briefs filed in these cases and law articles approximately 601 times. These citations were from a total of approximately 330 briefs and articles.  The citations were primarily clustered in certain cases. For instance, 30 cases or about…