When he was nominated to the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Roberts mentioned that one of his main objectives as chief justice would be to create more consensus on the Court and to forge a greater number of unanimous decisions. Lets see how successful he’s been after five years. I considered October Terms 1995 – 2009. [...]

The Supreme Court handed down only orders this morning, meaning the next possible time for it to release an opinion in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission is early next year. Several commentators, most notably John Elwood on Volokh Conspiracy and Tony Mauro for the Legal Times, have considered the possible reasons and consequences of [...]

When Chief Justice Roberts first sat on the Court on October 3, 2005 in IBP, Inc. v. Alvarez, he spoke twenty-four times and his first question appeared on page 15 of the transcript. Following that question, he went back and forth with Carter Phillips, a man with whom the Chief Justice was already acquainted, for [...]

The Caucus has an interesting post about a series of unlikely events 20 years ago that pitted John Roberts against Michael Jackson. You can find the post here.

The Supreme Court continued its quest to strike at Article III taxpayer standing today in its opinion in Summers v. Earth Island Institute (here). In 1968, the Court ruled 8-1 in Flast v. Cohen (here) that Florence Flast and others could file suit against the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare for violating the First [...]

The Supreme Court has long been criticized for poorly patrolling its lower courts for circuit splits. At least recently, the Supreme Court has issued relatively few summary judgements and summary reversals to clarify its recent decisions before they grow out of hand. The Court today did just that when they summarily reversed a decision of [...]

Earlier this morning, the Supreme Court held in Herring v. United States that non-systematic negligence by police officers fall within the scope of the good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule. I wrote about the case after oral arguments here. The decision of the conservative majority to significantly expand the scope of the good-faith exception to [...]

The Chief Justice issued his annual report to congress on the federal judiciary and once again asked for a raise in the salaries of federal judges. The Chief Justice pointed out that federal judges were the only federal employees who didn’t get a Cost-of-living adjustment for 2009. He praised the way the courts have scaled [...]

(Nearly) every majority opinion features a short introduction before it jumps into the standard I, II, III, IV, etc structure. Some Justices simply introduce the facts very briefly (Scalia), while others discuss the procedural history (Thomas), and others discuss the underlying issue in the case (Souter.) I took a look at all of the cases [...]

The use footnotes has been a topic of quiet conversation around the judiciary for some time now. One group of Judges and practitioners (and an even larger percentage of students) find them to be burdensome and often unnecessary. Others think they serve as useful guides and make opinions more readable. Footnotes largely come in two [...]



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