Don’t Cite Me Like That

An interesting debate was reignited by the Chief Justice’s majority opinion in Minnesota Voter’s Alliance v. Mansky. This debate surrounds the effect of oral arguments, if any, on the justices’ decisions.  Here is one of the sections from Roberts’ majority opinion in that case that refers to oral arguments. In this example, as is the case…

A Seismic Shift?

It seems out of a script by the writers of the film Groundhog Day.  At the end of the term each year Court watchers await the impending retirement of a justice.  Stories break in the months before June trying to sort through the imperfect information concerning such retirement plans. In recent years, speculation of an…

The Court’s Recent Lack of Support for the Federal Government’s Agenda

This is the first of a series of two posts examining the federal government’s litigation in the Supreme Court. While this post looks at the last several terms of government litigation, the next will analyze the government’s upcoming cases.   The federal government, through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), is the most frequent…

The Most Powerful Justices Across Time

Article III of the U.S. Constitution both limits the reach of the Supreme Court and at the same time gives the Justices great power.  As the only branch of the federal government with life tenure, the judicial branch maneuvers oftentimes outside of public spotlight and so judges are not subject to the same public pressures…

Amicus Oral Argument Participation Over Time

Amici regularly participate in Supreme Court oral arguments.  Recently these appearances have been dominated by attorneys from the United States Office of the Solicitor General (OSG). While OSG attorneys have historically argued more cases as amici than other attorneys, there is much less diversity in the last decade.  In fact, the bulk of non-OSG amici…

Immediate Effect of the Election on the Court and the Justices

The Justices have languished for months with the uncertainty of who will fill the empty seat on the Court.  This uncertainty will by no means end soon, but the impending election and the election itself may have had a cathartic effect on the Justices.  There is now greater likelihood that the empty seat will be…