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…

When Opposites Attract Ideology Falls to the Wayside

Lots of noise is made about partisan and ideological divides on the Supreme Court.  There tends to be less hubbub surrounding instances when justices that traditionally divide ideologically, vote together. Such surprising coalitions formed in the majority and dissent for the Court’s decision in last week’s Patchak v. Zinke ruling.  Although this decision was met with only…

Attorneys in the Clutch

Earlier this year I ran a blog post on the most powerful justices across time, which focused on their decisions in cases with single vote margin majorities.  That post accounted for the decision makers, but it did not consider the attorneys whose arguments factor into the justices’ decision calculi.  This post takes a look at…

Fast Out of the Gates (SCOTUS’ October 2017 Oral Arguments)

On October 2nd, the Supreme Court will be back in session with the first oral arguments of 2017.  Since Justice Scalia passed away in February 2016 the justices have taken a light caseload and generally have not heard cases that would lead to great rifts among themselves.  This non-divisive set of cases during the 2016…

A Changing of the Guard? (Probably Not But the Evidence is Mixed)

In an article I wrote last year I found several Supreme Court repeat players were much more successful than others in getting the Supreme Court to hear their cases. Many of these “Elite Cert Attorneys” argue multiple cases each term before the justices.  They all have high exposure to all aspects of Supreme Court process and…

Bringing in the Big Guns

In a cautious and almost trepidatious manner the Supreme Court has slowly filled in part of its docket for the 2016 Term. The correlation between this slow-moving approach to cert and the empty seat on the Court is unmistakable. There are currently eight cases scheduled for argument in October. The Court already granted cert in…

Oral Arguments OT 2015: A Look Back

On Wednesday April 29th the Supreme Court Justices heard their final oral argument of the Term with McDonnell v. United States.  The Justices heard a total of 69 arguments from October 2015 through April 2016 (not accounting separately for consolidated dockets; links to all of the transcripts, audio, and information about all of the cases…

The Regulars: Supreme Court Litigation 2015-2016

  Since 2001 the Supreme Court has written full opinions in 67-75 orally argued cases per Term.  We are certain not to see more than 75 this Term and nowhere near the 151 such cases in the 1982 and 1983 Terms, which were high points for the second half of the 20th century.  With fewer cases,…

Cert Winners 2014: Attorneys and Firms

Thinking of submitting a case to the Supreme Court? Most likely not.  If so, be prepared to have your case rejected.  The Supreme Court is extremely selective about the cases it hears typically only taking cases with circuit splits, of great importance, and with issues that have sufficiently percolated through the lower courts.  The majority…