The (Not So) New Face of the OSG

Surprisingly, or perhaps not so surprisingly, the search for the new Solicitor General led to one of the individuals discussed as a likely candidate early on in the process.  In the interim, a bevy of names were floated as possibilities including attorneys Chuck Cooper, George Conway, and Miguel Estrada. But as George Conway’s name faded…

Scaling Judge Gorsuch’s Opinions: Hints of a Possible Centrist

Two words that are regularly thrown around when discussing the Supreme Court (and politics generally) are “liberal” and “conservative.”  On this note, recently a question that has gained much traction has to do with how liberal or conservative a Justice Judge Gorsuch will be if confirmed to the Court.  A large problem with these terms…

Expectations for Vote Timing on the Gorsuch Nomination

Post by Samuel Morse Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch has a fairly pristine record and is himself one of the least controversial nominees to the Court in recent memory. This however will not be enough to make for a smooth confirmation.  After Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to act on Merrick Garland’s nomination, there…

Judge Gorsuch by the Numbers and Decisions

Speculation is abound regarding President Trump’s pick for Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch. Questions range from: “Who is he?” and “How will he rule” to the more specific “Will he help overturn Roe v. Wade.” While answers to the last two questions are anyone’s guess, answers to the first may shed light on all…

The Justices, Gender Equity, and Oral Arguments

Below is the abstract from my new article, Echoes from a Gendered Court: Examining the Justices’ Interactions During Supreme Court Oral Arguments, co-authored by Rebecca Gill: Supreme Court oral arguments are the only publicly scheduled opportunities for the Justices and advocates to directly engage in discussions about a case. There are few rules to regulate…

Bringing Cases in an Unusual Term: Top Petitioners and Cert Amici

There are certain criteria that indicate or signal the importance of a Supreme Court petition to the Court –experienced SCOTUS counsel on the cert briefs, federal governmental involvement, and cert stage amicus briefs – just to name a few.  Although there is no surefire way to predict whether the Court will grant cert in a…

The Supreme Court and the Next Generation of Executive Power Cases

Over the past several months an entirely new class of executive power-related concerns have percolated through the national media and have begun burgeoning in federal courts.  Prior to the election of President-Elect Trump, few knew about the Emoluments Clause in the Constitution and how it could be violated.  Just this morning Trump’s comments on Twitter…

Under the Radar With GVRs

A regular yet often overlooked practice in the Supreme Court is the grant, vacate remand or GVR.  A GVR is a summary disposition where, generally (although not always) based on a plenary decision, the Court grants certiorari in a case, vacates the lower court’s decision, and remands the case back to the lower court based…

Quick Note: List of Counsel for Oct/Nov Argued SCOTUS Cases

This list includes counsel for the merits parties as covered in the Supreme Court dockets and so it does not exactly match and track all counsel set for arguments.  In particular it does not cover arguing amici and it does contain parties’ attorneys of record even if they are not participating in oral arguments. For expanded…

Quick Note: SCOTUS Justices/Nominees’ Ages at Death

Perusing through some data for another post, I came across the age at death of all deceased Supreme Court nominees (those confirmed and not excluding Justice Scalia). The graph on the left shows all of the ages at death over time and the graph on the right shows the life expectancy trend based on the death…