A Definitive Look at the New OAs Led by KBJ

Something is clearly different this Supreme Court term after only two weeks of oral arguments. There is a chippiness in the air that wasn’t overtly present before. The distinction between the left and the right of the Court is still in play, but newly appointed Justice Jackson has had control of the proceedings far more…

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…

April Week 1 in Review

Here are the mini-analyses I ran this week: Text Analysis of Thompson v. Clark (20-659) Below is an analysis from Thompson v. Clark (20-659) which was released this week. It was a 6-3 decision. First, here is a wordcloud (a visualization of the most dominant words used) of the majority opinion authored by Justice Kavanaugh…

The Last Six Years of Oral Arguments in the Supreme Court

Supreme Court cases involve many moving parts. Attorneys working on briefs can total more than ten and from the briefs there is little available information to discern who put in the bulk of the effort. One key can be the counsel of record, although this is a tricky proxy. The Solicitor General, for instance, is…

SCOTUS Oral Argument Week 1 Quantitative Recap

A week ago, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in five cases. These cases ranged from dealing with land and water disputes to sentence enhancements, from the admission of trial court evidence to state-secret privileges. Lots can be made of the words the justices and attorneys said in oral argument. What is not as obvious…

Amy Coney Barrett’s First Day of Oral Arguments

The Supreme Court is now at full force with nine justices sitting in on oral arguments. Justice Barrett had her first day of arguments yesterday participating in both Salinas v. Railroad Retirement Bd. and United States Fish and Wildlife Serv. v. Sierra Club, Inc. Barrett’s first day of oral arguments was different from that of…

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….

Competition to Speak During 2018 Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Oral arguments for the 2018 term are now complete. In a term where we have the potential to see heightened polarization on the Court like never before, oral arguments are impacted as well.  One indicator of this harkens back to the previous term where all 5-4 decisions made across ideological lines ended in conservative victories.  So…

Looking Back to Assess the Potential Future of Oral Arguments

Over the past several years the Supreme Court has undergone substantial change. Not only has the face of the Court shifted, but so has its center with the departure of Justice Kennedy. Oral arguments offer the only vantage into the interactions and dynamics between the justices and provide some context for how they might vote…

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…