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Researching United States Supreme Court Justices Law 590-202 Senior Seminar (Supreme Court Decisions) June 29, 2006 James E. Duggan.

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Presentation on theme: "Researching United States Supreme Court Justices Law 590-202 Senior Seminar (Supreme Court Decisions) June 29, 2006 James E. Duggan."— Presentation transcript:

1 Researching United States Supreme Court Justices Law Senior Seminar (Supreme Court Decisions) June 29, 2006 James E. Duggan

2 Why is it important? Knowing a justice’s background may give you insight into how the justice thinks… Knowing a justice’s background may give you insight into how the justice thinks… If you know what arguments a justice responds to, you can prepare briefs and oral arguments in an influential way. If you know what arguments a justice responds to, you can prepare briefs and oral arguments in an influential way. Unlike juries, you cannot usually pick a court bench. But, you should think how the court views all aspects of your case as you would a jury. Unlike juries, you cannot usually pick a court bench. But, you should think how the court views all aspects of your case as you would a jury.

3 Potential Predictors of Judicial Decisions How have justices ruled in the past? What alliances have justices formed? How have justices ruled in the past? What alliances have justices formed? How have justices responded to arguments? How have justices responded to arguments? What questions have justices asked in oral arguments? What questions have justices asked in oral arguments? How have justices responded to briefs? How have justices responded to briefs? What have justices said in speeches? Other writings? Interviews? What have justices said in speeches? Other writings? Interviews?

4 Potential Predictors of Judicial Decisions Biographical Information Biographical Information Nomination/Confirmation Battles Nomination/Confirmation Battles What has been written about the justice What has been written about the justice Political Science Studies/Supreme Court Forecasting Project Political Science Studies/Supreme Court Forecasting Project Personal Connections/Anecdotal Information/Blogs Personal Connections/Anecdotal Information/Blogs

5 Getting Started: Researching the Supreme Court Martin & Goehlert, How to Research the Supreme Court (CQ, 1992) Martin & Goehlert, How to Research the Supreme Court (CQ, 1992) Stern, Gressman, Shapiro & Geller: Supreme Court Practice, 8 th ed. (CQ, 2002) Stern, Gressman, Shapiro & Geller: Supreme Court Practice, 8 th ed. (CQ, 2002) Epstein, Segal, Spaeth & Walker, The Supreme Court Compendium: Data, Decisions & Development, 2 nd. Ed (CQ: 1996) Epstein, Segal, Spaeth & Walker, The Supreme Court Compendium: Data, Decisions & Development, 2 nd. Ed (CQ: 1996)

6 Getting Started: Researching the Supreme Court Paddock, Facts about the Supreme Court of the United States (H.W. Wilson & Co., 1996) Paddock, Facts about the Supreme Court of the United States (H.W. Wilson & Co., 1996) Bader & Mersky, The First One Hundred Eight Justices (W.S. Hein & Co., 2004) Bader & Mersky, The First One Hundred Eight Justices (W.S. Hein & Co., 2004)

7 Getting Started: Researching the Supreme Court Lambert, U.S. Supreme Court Research- Select Internet Sites (on LLRX) Lambert, U.S. Supreme Court Research- Select Internet Sites (on LLRX) Lambert, U.S. Supreme Court Research- Select Internet Sites (on LLRX) Lambert, U.S. Supreme Court Research- Select Internet Sites (on LLRX) Official U.S. Supreme Court Website Official U.S. Supreme Court Website Official U.S. Supreme Court Website Official U.S. Supreme Court Website

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10 How Have Justices Ruled in the Past? Search for their opinions on LexisNexis & Westlaw Search for their opinions on LexisNexis & Westlaw –LexisNexis: Use Segment Search: Opinionby, Writtenby, Dissentby, Concurby LexisNexis –Westlaw: Use Field Search: JU (judge), CON (Concurring), DIS (dissenting) Westlaw –Remember to search for opinions prior to service on Supreme Court; may also want to search for cases they argued as attorneys

11 What Alliances Have Justices Formed? LexisNexis and Westlaw Search: Look at who joins the justice in the opinion (concurrence, dissent, etc.) LexisNexis and Westlaw Search: Look at who joins the justice in the opinion (concurrence, dissent, etc.) Look at commentary about Court in newspapers, legal journals, etc. Look at commentary about Court in newspapers, legal journals, etc. See postings on SCOTUSblog (linked from SIU Law Library webpage) See postings on SCOTUSblog (linked from SIU Law Library webpage)SCOTUSblog

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13 Justices: Oral Arguments & Responses Look at texts of oral arguments: Look at texts of oral arguments: –http://www.supremecourtus.gov/ –Official transcript proceedings before the Supreme Court of the United States [SIU microform] –May it please the court [sound recording] : the most significant oral arguments made before the Supreme Court since 1955 OYEZ-U.S. Supreme Court Multimedia OYEZ-U.S. Supreme Court Multimedia OYEZ

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15 Briefs LexisNexis & Westlaw LexisNexis & Westlaw home.html home.html home.html home.html Landmark briefs and arguments of the Supreme Court of the United States (SIU) Landmark briefs and arguments of the Supreme Court of the United States (SIU) U. S. Supreme Court records and briefs [microform] U. S. Supreme Court records and briefs [microform]

16 Speeches, Writings, Interviews Check Index to Legal Periodicals & WilsonWeb Check Index to Legal Periodicals & WilsonWeb Checks News files on both LexisNexis & Westlaw Checks News files on both LexisNexis & Westlaw See Partin’s Supreme Court Research Guide & Bibliography See Partin’s Supreme Court Research Guide & BibliographyPartin’s Supreme Court Research Guide & BibliographyPartin’s Supreme Court Research Guide & Bibliography Book Example: Sandra Day O’Connor, The Majesty of the Law (Random House, 2003) Book Example: Sandra Day O’Connor, The Majesty of the Law (Random House, 2003) Historically, locate papers collections (generally at major universities) Historically, locate papers collections (generally at major universities) Library of Congress Resources (ex: Alito) Library of Congress Resources (ex: Alito)Alito

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19 Biographical Information Friedman and Israel, The Justices of the United States Supreme Court: Their Lives and Major Opinions (Vol. V, Chelsea House, 1995) Friedman and Israel, The Justices of the United States Supreme Court: Their Lives and Major Opinions (Vol. V, Chelsea House, 1995) The American Bench: Judges of the Nation The American Bench: Judges of the Nation Almanac of the Federal Judiciary Almanac of the Federal Judiciary Be careful, though… Be careful, though…

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21 Biography Examples Andrew Peyton Thomas, Clarence Thomas: a Biography (Encounter Books, 2001) Andrew Peyton Thomas, Clarence Thomas: a Biography (Encounter Books, 2001) Nancy Maveety, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor: Strategist on the Supreme Court (Rowan & Littlefield, 1996) Nancy Maveety, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor: Strategist on the Supreme Court (Rowan & Littlefield, 1996) Kevin A. Ring, ed., Scalia Dissents : Writings of the Supreme Court's Wittiest, Most Outspoken Justice (Regnery, 2004) Kevin A. Ring, ed., Scalia Dissents : Writings of the Supreme Court's Wittiest, Most Outspoken Justice (Regnery, 2004)

22 Nomination/Confirmation Battles Lots of information surfaces at a confirmation hearing: Lots of information surfaces at a confirmation hearing: –Newspaper/Media files (LexisNexis/Westlaw) –Mersky & Jacobstein, The Supreme Court of the United States : hearings and reports on successful and unsuccessful nominations of Supreme Court Justices by the Senate Judiciary Committee, (W.S. Hein & Co, ).

23 Nomination/Confirmation Battles – –A Field Guide to the Alito Confirmation Hearings Gearing Up for the Alito Confirmation Hearings: Documents Fuel the Debate 2006/01/gearing_up_for__1.html 2006/01/gearing_up_for__1.html Alito Coverage from the Law Professor Blogs Network 2006/01/alito_coverage_.html 2006/01/alito_coverage_.html

24 Nomination/Confirmation Battles – –Searchable Version of John Roberts Confirmation Hearings and Court Opinions – –http://www.asksam.com/ebooks/JohnRoberts/confirmat ion_hearing.asphttp://www.asksam.com/ebooks/JohnRoberts/confirmat ion_hearing.asp – –Background Information for Senate Confirmation of John Roberts – –http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/law_librarian_blog/2 005/09/background_info.htmlhttp://lawprofessors.typepad.com/law_librarian_blog/2 005/09/background_info.html – –Parsing John Roberts – –http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/law_librarian_blog/2 005/08/parsing_john_ro.htmlhttp://lawprofessors.typepad.com/law_librarian_blog/2 005/08/parsing_john_ro.html

25 About the Justice: Books, Articles, etc. Use various indexes/databases to search for materials: Use various indexes/databases to search for materials: –OCLC First Search –Library Catalogs –Periodical Indexes (ILP, LegalTrac, WilsonWeb, etc.) –Silverburg, Index to Law School Theses & Dissertations (W.S. Hein & Co., 1995) –Comprehensive Dissertation Index (Law & Political Science; Social Sciences and Humanities)

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27 About the Justice: Books, Articles, etc. Examples Epstein & Knight, The Choices Justice Make (CQ Press, 1998) Epstein & Knight, The Choices Justice Make (CQ Press, 1998) Johnson, Oral Arguments and Decision Making on the United States Supreme Court (SUNY Press, 2004) Johnson, Oral Arguments and Decision Making on the United States Supreme Court (SUNY Press, 2004) Cooper & Ball, The United States Supreme Court: From the Inside Out (Prentice Hall, 1996) Cooper & Ball, The United States Supreme Court: From the Inside Out (Prentice Hall, 1996)

28 About the Justice: Books, Articles, etc. Examples Perry, “The Supremes”: Essays on the Current Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States (Peter Lang, 1999) Perry, “The Supremes”: Essays on the Current Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States (Peter Lang, 1999) Clayton & Gillman, Supreme Court Decision Making: New Institutionalist Approaches (University of Chicago Press, 1999) Clayton & Gillman, Supreme Court Decision Making: New Institutionalist Approaches (University of Chicago Press, 1999)

29 About the Justice: Books, Articles, etc. Examples Segal & Spaeth, The Supreme Court and the Attitudinal Model Revisited (Cambridge University Press, 2002) Segal & Spaeth, The Supreme Court and the Attitudinal Model Revisited (Cambridge University Press, 2002) Savage, Turning Right: The Making of the Rehnquist Supreme Court (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1992). Savage, Turning Right: The Making of the Rehnquist Supreme Court (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1992).

30 Political Science Studies/Forecasting Models See Morris Library’s Social Science Indexes for political science journal articles, etc. See Morris Library’s Social Science Indexes for political science journal articles, etc.

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33 Forecasting Models

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36 Personal Connections/Anecdotal Information/Blogs Who do you know? Who do you know? –Clerks/other Employees –Attorneys who have argued before the Supreme Court Who can you hire? Who can you hire? –Georgetown’s Supreme Court Institute

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39 Blogs The Rutherford Institute Court Watch The Rutherford Institute Court WatchCourt WatchCourt Watch About U.S. Politics: Supreme Court About U.S. Politics: Supreme Court About U.S. Politics: Supreme Court About U.S. Politics: Supreme Court Judicial Confirmation Network Judicial Confirmation Network Judicial Confirmation Network Judicial Confirmation Network


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