Who’s in the Majority?

While few people ever have the opportunity of sitting on the Supreme Court, some similarities exist between this upper echelon of judging and other jobs. One parallel has to do with job satisfaction.  While judges that make it all the way to the Supreme Court should feel accomplished and contented by their achievements, there also…

If Ginsburg Leaves it Could be the Left’s Biggest Loss Yet

The saga over Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s health seems to ebb and flow from the headlines almost daily.  Part of the mystery relates to the amount of information shared with the public. We know Ginsburg broke ribs and while providing care for her ribs doctors found malignant lesions in her lungs that were promptly removed. She…

A Difference of Opinion

Since Chief Justice John Roberts joined the Supreme Court in 2005, several pairs of justices have had notable disagreements in multiple cases.  This is at least in part due to the justices’ polarity of viewpoints and interpretive methods.  It nonetheless creates clear divisions on the Court as the justices have hardened viewpoints on many substantive issues…

Top Firms’ Supreme Court Business: Some Stay Close While Others Stay Away

Multiple services annually rank law firms along several dimensions and according to various measures.  Even with these rankings there is little objective gauge of a firm’s quality and rightfully so. There are many aspects that go into a firm’s relative quality and some are easier to gauge than others.  One thing that these rankings almost…

When Justices Recuse, and When they Refuse

By Samuel Morse Over the summer, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg made the following comments about then presidential-candidate Donald Trump: “He is a faker…He has no consistency about him. He says whatever comes into his head at the moment.  He really has an ego. …How has he gotten away with not turning over his tax returns?…

Changing Work Patterns in the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court decides well fewer than 100 orally argued cases each Term. This is only a fraction of the number of cases the Supreme Court heard in the past. There is concern that Court will hear even fewer cases during the 2016 Term due to the ongoing Supreme Court vacancy. The dynamics of these cases…

Supreme Court Opinion Readability 2015

How easy are Supreme Court opinions to read? There is quite a bit of variation in the Court’s writings based on the case facts, Justice, clerks, majority coalition, and prior case law involved. Complicating this question further is the difficulty in measuring reading ease. As with measuring writing quality, there are subjective elements that even…

Why Garland Makes Sense for Clinton and Obama

  Merrick Garland has a stellar judicial record.  None of the 330 decisions he authored have even been heard by the Supreme Court on writ of certiorari.  Few of his fellow jurists on the D.C. Circuit have dissented in cases where he wrote the majority opinion.  He has fed more clerks to the Supreme Court…

Still A Conservative Court

It’s a new day for the Supreme Court. We are in uncharted territory with this current Supreme Court vacancy with no end in sight.  In some respect this has led to a liberal shift in the Court’s general demeanor – especially since this is the first time in decades that conservative Justices have not held a majority…

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…