Expectations for Vote Timing on the Gorsuch Nomination

Post by Samuel Morse Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch has a fairly pristine record and is himself one of the least controversial nominees to the Court in recent memory. This however will not be enough to make for a smooth confirmation.  After Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to act on Merrick Garland’s nomination, there…

Supreme Obstruction and the 2016 Senatorial Election Mandate

Let’s begin with a few political facts. Presidential elections are held every four years. Senatorial elections are held every two. Supreme Court Justices are appointed for life (Article III of the Constitution actually provides that federal judges “shall hold their offices during good behavior” but this has become synonymous with life tenure). These terms of…

We Need Nine (Or Do We): A Slice of Supreme Court History

The Supreme Court is in the midst of a critical juncture.  For perhaps the first time since FDR was President, there is serious discussion regarding how many justices should sit on the Supreme Court.  Roosevelt tried and failed to add as many as six more seats to the Supreme Court in 1937.  The last time…

Narrowing Down Clinton’s Choices For Supreme Court Nominee

Let’s begin with a short timeline.  Justice Scalia passed away on February 13, 2016.  On March 16, President Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court.  Then on May 18th, Donald Trump set forth a list of 11 individuals he viewed as potential Supreme Court nominees if he should win the presidency.  On September…

And Now For Something Completely Sociodemographic

Several of the Justices were on speaking tours in recent weeks moving through academic venues and discussing the contours of the current Court in somewhat guarded tones (which is not surprising given the general tenor or Supreme Court Justices outside of the Court and based on the backlash against Justice Ginsburg’s incisive comments concerning Presidential…

Garland’s Reach into the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court writes full decisions in around 70 orally argued cases every term.  The majority of these cases were previously heard by federal courts of appeals.  Each of the twelve federal appeals circuits, however, decides hundreds of cases every year, with only a tiny percentage going to the Supreme Court for further review.  Appeals…

Why Garland Makes Sense for Clinton and Obama

  Merrick Garland has a stellar judicial record.  None of the 330 decisions he authored have even been heard by the Supreme Court on writ of certiorari.  Few of his fellow jurists on the D.C. Circuit have dissented in cases where he wrote the majority opinion.  He has fed more clerks to the Supreme Court…

A Formula For Supreme Court Clerkships? Harvard and Garland

Is there a formula to becoming a Supreme Court clerk?  Perhaps a certain pedigree? How about a prior federal clerkship?  The short answer to all three questions is yes.  At very least, going to a certain school and working for a specific judge significantly enhance your chances. Much of the discussion surrounding Supreme Court clerkships has centered…

Peering Into Merrick Garland

If there’s one thing that can be said about the current Supreme Court vacancy, it is that it will not likely be filled anytime soon.  Judge Garland has sat on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals since 1997 and has been the Chief Judge on the Circuit since 2013.  With the benefit of time and the…

How Does Garland Compare?

Courtesy of data from the Federal Judicial Center I have compiled statistics for each current Supreme Court Justice as well as for Justice Scalia and Judge Garland.  This should give you some idea of how Garland compares to the current Justices as well as to the Justice who sat on the seat that he will potentially take….