Blog Post #1
As you may already have noticed, the language of Supreme Court procedure can be a bit confusing. There are a lot of terms introduced in the first reading assignment. To help you straighten them out, you’ll need to read this short Supreme Court Procedure example from the good folks over at SCOTUSblog. It walks you through a hypothetical case to help you understand what the terminology means in context.
The other major highlight of this section of the book is the stunningly heavy workload associated with sifting through the petitions for writs of certiorari. One of the more interesting components of this process is the role of the “cert pool,” which is staffed by law clerks.
Paper Topic 1: Do the Supreme Court clerks wield too much power in the process of selecting cases to be heard on the merits? What could be done about this?
Suggested Reading: Ward, Artemus and David L. Weiden. 2007. Sorcerers’ Apprentices: 100 Years of Law Clerks at the United States Supreme Court. NYU Press. ISBN: 978-0814794203.