Locating Weak Causal Strands in the Justices’ Opinions

In the introduction to the eye opening work on the Supreme Court certiorari process Deciding to Decide, author H.W. Perry summarizes the Court’s lack of institutional transparency. Perry wrote, “Although some rules are published, most of the internal procedures are by consensus, are unpublished, and are frequently unknown” (p. 17). Perry goes on, “We on…

How Chief Justice Roberts Articulates His Ethos Through His Year End Reports

Chief Justice John Roberts released an impassioned Year End Report on December 31, 2019, which generated much commentary.  The New York Times, for instance wrote about the Chief Justice’s calls for an independent federal judiciary.  The Wall Street Journal examined Justice Roberts’ warnings against rumor and false information.  These values inherent in the Chief’s report…

A New Term With Plenty of Hype

This is going to be a big year in front of the Supreme Court. Likely with more fireworks than the last few. Since Justice Scalia passed away during the 2015 Supreme Court Term, the Court has been in an adjustment period. There was the long stint without a ninth justice. Justice Gorsuch was finally confirmed at the tail end of the 2016 term. At the end of his first full term in 2017 Justice Kennedy announced his retirement. This past term was Kavanaugh’s first term on the Court.

Which Supreme Court Cases Are Generating the Most Interest?

This Supreme Court term, like the past several before it, has been slow out of the gates. It also marks another term with a new justice – this time Justice Kavanaugh.  The justices often find consensus early on in a term and after a largescale change only later to define or redefine their jurisprudential boundaries….