April 8 Week in Review

This week started out with a new post on the schools and lower court clerkships that will most likely land a former law student a Supreme Court clerkship. The post can be found here. Next up was a look at the cases decided so far this term and the justices who authored each opinion. Justices…

The New Clerks in Town

When confirmed to the Supreme Court in 1962, Justice Byron White became the first justice ever to have clerked for a previous justice as White clerked for Chief Justice Vinson in 1946.  This was more than 60 years after the first Supreme Court clerk was hired by Justice Gray in 1882 and more than 150…

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…

Just the Stats: Ketanji Brown Jackson as a District Court Judge

This post has a bevy of statistics related to Judge Jackson’s decisions as a judge on the District Court for the District of Columbia, which helps paint a picture of the cases Judge Jackson decided, the people involved, and how her decisions fared on appeal.  Some aggregate statistics and other information on Judge Jackson’s background…

Ketanji Brown Jackson Decision Dataset

President Biden has a major decision to make with who to nominate to fill Justice Breyer’s seat on the Supreme Court. One of the top contenders for the nomination is Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson from the D.C. Circuit. Judge Jackson worked as an attorney in private practice, an assistant special counsel to the United States…

Justice Breyer’s Legacy In Numbers

Much of the Supreme Court landscape has changed since Justice Breyer joined the Supreme Court in 1994.  Breyer is currently the second longest-tenured justice on the Court after Justice Thomas. The ideological balance has changed from a 5-4 conservative/liberal composition with the occasional swing vote from Justice Kennedy in the middle.  With the three Trump-appointed…

Supreme Workhorses

A common refrain lately within circles interested in the Supreme Court has to do with the Court’s diminishing (or diminished) workload.  The Court clearly has taken fewer cases in recent years than it did farther in the past. The 53 signed opinions by the Court for the 2019 term marked the lowest opinion total in…

Elites at Cert

The odds are stacked against attorneys seeking to have their cases heard by the Supreme Court. While attorneys working on cases accepted for review have a 50/50 chance of success on the merits, the average likelihood of a cert grant is around 1%. Certain attorneys though have a much higher success rate (also documented in…

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…

Does the Supreme Court React to Congressional Preferences?

In the 2019 case United States v. Davis, Justice Gorsuch began with an important statement regarding constitutional statutes. Gorsuch wrote, “In our constitutional order, a vague law is no law at all. Only the people’s elected representatives in Congress have the power to write new federal criminal laws. And when Congress exercises that power, it…