Do NOT Let Your Client Write Your Petition for a Writ of Certiorari

"Shipley basically let his client write his brief, and the thing turned into an utter shitshow. Witness the nightmare hellscape that is the question presented in this case …"

State Bars’ Antitrust Immunity May Not Last Much Longer

Avvo General Counsel Josh King on the Supreme Court’s decision in North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission: The court made no bones about it, siding with the FTC: the regulatory bodies of self-regulated professions (like dentistry and the law) only get immunity from antitrust liability if they are “actively supervised” by […]


History Nerds: Listen To LBJ Try to Make Abe Fortas Chief Justice

No one — before or since — has ever said "goddamned New York Times" like LBJ said "goddamned New York Times."

Supreme Court to Put All Filings Online

It’s tempting to mock the Supreme Court’s pokiness. After all, paperless technology is now so well-established it’s boring, not cutting edge.

“Manly-Sounding” Lawyers Are More Likely to Lose

At least that’s the buzzy headline the ABA Journal put on this study, in which 200 volunteers rated the “manliness” and confidence, among other qualities, of 60 male lawyers’ opening statement to the Supreme Court. The manliest-sounding lawyers more likely to lose, and the most confident-sounding lawyers were more likely to win. Presumably there was […]

Predicting Supreme Court Outcomes

"Jacob Berlove, 30, of Queens, is the best human Supreme Court predictor in the world."


A Call for Track Changes at the Supreme Court

At the National Law Journal, Professor Richard Hasen thinks the Supreme Court should be a bit more transparent when it makes changes to published opinions.


John Oliver Finds a Way to Put Cameras in the Supreme Court — Sort Of

Don't watch this unless you want to see Scalia depicted as an actual bulldog, Alito as a poodle, and the court reporter as a chicken.


I Think the Supreme Court Releases Paper Opinions to Amuse Itself

Because the “running of the interns” is pretty amusing. Check out “The 2013 Running Of The Interns” on Buzzfeed.


“[A] private-market auction for seats at a public hearing of the country’s highest court”

Law professor Dale Carpenter (from whom I took an excellent class on sexual orientation and the law), writing at Volokh Conspiracy about “The Real Standing Problem in the Marriage Cases“: As 7 a.m. approached and the lawyers arrived to take their pre-paid places in line, something else happened. They started inviting their friends to join […]


The Oath: The Obama White House and the Supreme Court (Book Review)

Guest post by Barry Edwards. Do not read Jeffrey Toobin’s latest book, The Oath: The Obama White House and the Supreme Court, if you want to hold on to any illusions about the sanctity of the United States Supreme Court. The Court is just as soiled with rank political calculations as the other two branches […]

Former Supreme Court Justice Stevens Wants to Amend the Constitution

He wants to amend Article VI — the Supremacy Clause — to read as follows: This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; […]

Publishing the Law For Posterity #LVI2012

One of my favorite talks at the Law Via the Internet Conference turned out to be from Frank Wagner, retired U.S. Supreme Court Reporter of Decisions.

Justice Thomas: “My new bias, which I now embrace, is that … I intentionally prefer kids from regular backgrounds and regular students.”

Graduates of non-Ivy-League law schools may not have a prayer of becoming a U.S. Supreme Court justice (all the current justices went to Harvard, Yale, or Columbia (Ginburg, who started at Harvard), but we can at least hope to clerk for one. At a talk on Friday at the University of Florida, Justice Clarence Thomas […]

Federal Judge Says Small-Firm Lawyers are Worth Less than Big-Firm Lawyers

A D.C. federal district court thinks small-firm lawyers should be penalized for not being big-firm lawyers.