Empirical Analysis

Judicial Ghostwriting: Authorship on the Supreme Court

Albert Yoon & Jeffrey Rosenthal

Justice Louis Brandeis once wrote, “The reason the public thinks so much of the Justices of the Supreme Court is that they are almost the only people in Washington who do their own work.”  It is remarkable to think that each year, each justice is responsible for evaluating over seven… Read More »

The Use of Legal Scholarship by the Federal Courts of Appeals: An Empirical Study

David Schwartz & Lee Petherbridge

Legal scholarship has been under sharp attack, particularly when it comes to the role some believe it should play in support of the legal profession.  In recent remarks, Chief Justice John Roberts explained that he does not pay much attention to it, reportedly stating that legal scholarship is not “particularly… Read More »

Sorting Guilty Minds

Francis Shen & Morris Hoffman & Owen Jones & Joshua Greene & René Marois

Every crime consists of an illegal act committed with a guilty mind. Proving the act alone is rarely enough because the law typically does not criminalize accidents. Yet while the distinction between accidents and non-accidents seems straightforward, punishing the “guilty mind”—as students quickly learn and practicing attorneys well know—is much… Read More »

Employment Discrimination Plaintiffs in the District of Maryland

Charles A. Brown

I. Introduction
Research into employment discrimination litigation intensified in the early 1990s as such litigation began to account for an increasingly large part of the federal docket.  Employment discrimination cases rose as a percentage of the federal docket until reaching a peak of about 10% in 2001.  Since then, this… Read More »

Widening Batson’s Net to Ensnare More Than the Unapologetically Bigoted or Painfully Unimaginative Attorney

Jeffrey Bellin & Junichi Semitsu

In Snyder v. Louisiana, the Supreme Court reaffirmed its commitment to rooting out racially discriminatory jury selection and its belief that the three-step framework established in Batson v. Kentucky is capable of unearthing racially discriminatory peremptory strikes.  Yet, the Court left in place the talismanic protection available to those who might misuse the peremptory challenge— the unbounded collection of justifications that courts, including the Supreme Court, accept as “race-neutral.” Read More »

Flexing Judicial Muscle: An Empirical Study of Judicial Activism in the Federal Courts

Corey Rayburn Yung - John Marshall Law School

Immediately following President Obama’s nomination of then-Judge Sonia Sotomayor to replace Justice Souter on the United States Supreme Court, critics branded her a “judicial activist” who would work without regard to the “rule of law.” Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay contended that President Obama “couldn’t have appointed a more activist… Read More »

Israel’s Supreme Court Appellate Jurisdiction: An Empirical Study

Theodore Eisenberg & Issi Rosen-Zvi & Talia Fisher

The article reports the results of an empirical study conducted with respect to the appellate jurisdiction of the Israeli Supreme Court (hereinafter “ISC”).  The ISC sits atop a high-quality common law system and functions as an appellate court for district court rulings.  Cases in which the district court has original jurisdiction—particularly,… Read More »

The Disutility of Injustice

Paul H. Robinson & Geoffrey P. Goodwin & Michael D. Reisig

The past half-century has seen a continuing debate between “retributivists,” who view deserved punishment as a value in itself that does not require further justification, and “instrumentalists,” who view punishment as justified only if it brings about a greater good—typically the avoidance of future crime. That avoidance of crime has… Read More »

The Evolving Forum Shopping System

Christopher A. Whytock - University of California, Irvine School of Law

“As a moth is drawn to the light, so is a litigant drawn to the United States.”  Notwithstanding Lord Denning’s widely cited aphorism, this editorial and the article on which it is based suggest that the draw may no longer be as strong as it once was.  Using a combination… Read More »

Adapting Integer Programming Techniques to Circuit Restructuring

David Carlson

For as long as the United States Courts of Appeals have been part of the federal judicial system, commentators, judges, and policymakers have disagreed over their geographic boundaries.  These disagreements are closely intertwined with discussions about the courts’ core characteristics, such as how many states they encompass, the workload of… Read More »

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