I’m sad to see Justice Stevens leave the Court for a variety of reasons that have been well documented by people smarter than me. I’m also excited to some change on the Court because the liberal wing needs a change of pace after it’s dismal performance thus far in OT09.

The biggest problem, at least for me, is that with any new Justice comes a slew of recusals. New justices that come from circuit courts have an even higher recusal rate than other justices. The biggest problem with recusals is not the impact they have on the Court, but the impact they have on my term statistics. You cannot imagine how frustrating it is to have 5-3, 6-2, 7-1, or 8-0 opinions.

Unfortunately for me, President Obama probably won’t take my concerns very seriously and is likely to appoint someone who will spark a slew of recusals. Tom Goldstein correctly noted that General Kagan would not spark as many recusals as some commentators have mentioned, but there are still at least 5 recusals from her alone. Judges Diane Wood and Merrick Garland would likely recuse themselves from many cases coming from their circuits. Judge Wood’s circuit, the Seventh Circuit, is the circuit that contributes the second greatest number of cases to the Supreme Court’s docket while Judge Garland’s circuit, the DC circuit, contributes relatively few every year.


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

Categories

Random Posts

  • First Opinion Stats: As we wait for the first opinion of the term, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the first signed opinion released in recen...
  • Uninterrupted Distributions Count for OT10 Cases: Docket pages for each case at the Supreme Court list when a case is distributed for a given conference and, therefore, up for consideration....
  • Early OT09 Stats: I've finally finished the first edition of my OT09 statistics. First, the links: Term Index and Term Opinion Breakdown. Honestly, the nam...
  • Final Term Index: Here is the final Term Index for October Term 2009. OT09_term_index_final
  • 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 ...