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.


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Categories

Random Posts

  • Supreme Court Justices: Age at Retirement: Using the still-fabulous Supreme Court Compendium data set, I've thrown together a chart plotting the ages of each Justice at retirement. I ...
  • Updated Advocate Scorecard (OT00-10): The Court's hearing list for this month completes the list of attorneys who will argue before the Supreme Court during October Term 2010. I'...
  • January Hearing List Released: The Supreme Court has released the Hearing List for the January sitting and you can find it here. Several high-profile advocates are back...
  • Updated Term Statistics: I've updated the term statistics and you can find the new versions of each chart below: Complete (includes all three charts) --- Term I...
  • Nearly Final Term Statistics and Advocate Scorecard: My goal was to publish the final term statistics today, but because the Court will hear rearguments in Citzens United and likely issue an op...