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Empirical SCOTUS: A comprehensive look at Judge Amy Coney Barrett

Judge Amy Coney Barrett, now a Supreme Court nominee, has followed a well-worn path of nominees before her. President Donald Trump nominated her to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit on Nov. 2, 2017. He then nominated her to the Supreme Court, just under three years later, on Sept. 26, 2020. Chief […]

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Empirical SCOTUS: Justice Ginsburg leaves a lasting legacy on the court

Posted Fri, September 25th, 2020 4:42 pm by Adam Feldman In the week since the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the legal community has simultaneously honored her legacy with heartfelt eulogies and prepared for the upcoming battle over her vacant seat. If President Trump is able to appoint a successor to Ginsburg, we could […]

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Empirical SCOTUS: The importance of state court cases before the Supreme Court

Supreme Court review is often thought of as mainly monitoring the federal courts and circuit splits. The reasons for this are obvious. Article III of the Constitution gives the Supreme Court broad authority to review questions of federal law, but the court’s power to supervise state courts has been limited since the Judiciary Act of […]

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Empirical SCOTUS: If Ginsburg were to leave the court, her departure might resemble Thurgood Marshall’s

Posted Fri, August 14th, 2020 1:44 pm by Adam Feldman Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s health is in the news again this year. She announced last month that she was being treated with chemotherapy — the fourth time since 1999 that she has battled cancer. After she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2009, she resisted […]

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Empirical SCOTUS: Justices’ separate opinions suggest high polarization outside the regular merits docket

Posted Fri, July 24th, 2020 5:35 pm by Adam Feldman Over the past five Supreme Court terms, the justices have issued 157 separate “opinions relating to orders.” These orders, which are issued without oral arguments and without full merits consideration, typically fall into three categories: denials of cert petitions, rulings on emergency requests for relief […]

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Empirical SCOTUS: Precedent: Which justices practice what they preach

Although Supreme Court justices are by no means bound by their past decisions, they often respect them, for a variety of reasons. Justice Elena Kagan offered her reasons for remaining faithful to precedent in her dissent from last term’s decision in Knick v. Township of Scott, which overturned the court’s precedent on the issue of […]