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…

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…

The Five Frontrunners

With less than one week left until President Trump announces his nominee to fill the second SCOTUS vacancy since he took office, not all names are getting equal attention.  President Trump indicated the other day that he narrowed down his initial list to five finalists.  While all members on this whittled down list are not known, a few judges…

Analyzing News Coverage of Merrick Garland’s Nomination

(image from NPR)   With the help of a nifty tool piece of software that performs topic modeling, I distilled some of the major themes that appeared in national and local news covering the Garland nomination in print and online (this include several articles from some of the most widely read papers, e.g. New York Times…

How Does Garland Compare?

Courtesy of data from the Federal Judicial Center I have compiled statistics for each current Supreme Court Justice as well as for Justice Scalia and Judge Garland.  This should give you some idea of how Garland compares to the current Justices as well as to the Justice who sat on the seat that he will potentially take….