Walter Dellinger, a noted Supreme Court advocate who is most recently received headlines for arguing for the district in DC v. Heller, has submitted the first entry in a new series on Slate called “The Supreme Court Breakfast Table.”
His letter to Dahlia Lithwick and Linda Greenhouse is an interesting summary of the many issues at play in the final week of the OT08. This entry came across to me as particularly interesting:
The most important cases naturally gravitate to the end of the term because justices drafting the majority and dissenting opinions in those cases apparently feel compelled to keep revising and rewriting in response to one another’s revised counterarguments up until the final days of the term. (This explains why some of the most interesting points are often in footnotes, the preferred venue for last-minute volleys.)
We know that the most important cases usually come down in the final weeks of a term (recent exceptions would include Gonzales v. Carhart (April 18, 2007), Medellin v. Texas (March 25, 2008), Baze v. Rees (April 16, 2008)). I thought his insight into the importance of last minute footnotes was interest. Be prepared to take a crack at some footnotes in the cases that will come out later today.