Wednesday, October 17, 2018

SCOTUS amicus data

Check out Supreme Court Amicus Curiae Review: 'Friends of the Court' Roared Back in 2017–18 Term: Arnold & Porter’s Appellate and Supreme Court practice review the 2017-18 amicus curiae docket.

  • In 2017–18, amici filed briefs in every argued case, surpassing the past seven terms where participation rates ranged from 92 to 98 percent. Amici also filed more briefs.
  • The return of mega cases also upped the number of amicus briefs filed in a single proceeding. “Cases with thirty or more amicus briefs are no longer particularly rare, and the highest-profile cases see amicus filing reaching the triple digits.” Aaron-Andrew P. Bruhl & Adam Feldman, Separating the Amicus Wheat from Chaff, 106 Georgetown L. J. Online 135, 135 (2017). In 2016–17, with fewer blockbuster cases on the docket, the highpoint was 35 briefs in a single case, a seven-term low. But in 2017–18, amici filed 95 briefs in Masterpiece Cakeshop, involving a baker’s refusal to create a wedding cake for a same-sex marriage. (One creative amicus brief included color photographs of elaborate wedding cakes to illustrate their artistry.)  And amici filed 73 briefs in Trump v. Hawaii, involving the president’s immigration travel ban.
Also of note, last week's On Appeals column in The Recorder was If a Court Reporter Isn't There, Is It in the Record?