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The Cockle Bur Blog

Legal minds on legal matters and whatever else strikes our fancy.

15 Jan, 2020

Supreme Court Slow to Adopt Technology

2020-01-15T12:32:37-06:00January 15th, 2020|Tags: , , |

  Though Supreme Court Justices are a bright bunch they are not renowned for their technological savvy.  In fact, the Court itself has been openly technophobic at times.  In his 2014 year-end report on the judiciary, Chief Justice Roberts explained that “[t]he courts will always be prudent whenever it comes to embracing the ‘next big [...]

10 Jan, 2020

Chief Justice Releases 2019 Year-end Report

2020-01-10T15:29:30-06:00January 10th, 2020|Tags: , , , , , |

  Chief Justice John Roberts issued his annual year-end report on the federal judiciary December 31st. He capped 2019 by decrying the corrosive effects of “rumor and false information” on American democracy, particularly in this online age. And though the report outwardly praised civics education, its subtext pointed directly towards President Donald Trump.  The Chief Justice will, [...]

11 Nov, 2019

A Beginner’s Guide to Supreme Court History: The First 100 Years

2019-11-11T21:40:11-06:00November 11th, 2019|Tags: , , , , |

  This is the second post in our multi-part series which covers the history of the Court—from establishment and its first 100 years to landmark cases and the Court’s future.  Our first installment detailing the Court’s establishment is available here. * * * At its founding the United States Supreme Court was an appellate court—a [...]

23 Oct, 2019

A Beginner’s Guide to Supreme Court History: Establishment

2019-10-23T18:49:44-05:00October 23rd, 2019|Tags: , , , , , |

The Supreme Court is often described as distinctly American in concept and function.  We look to it as the last resort in search of justice, equality, and validation of our political views.  It’s where we wage our most serious legal battles––from voting disputes and privacy issues to establishing the rights of women and minorities. But [...]

21 Oct, 2019

The Supreme Court’s Role in Trump’s Impending Impeachment

2019-10-21T14:17:33-05:00October 21st, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , |

A complaint from an intelligence community whistleblower last month led to reports that focused on interactions between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. During their call, Trump is alleged to have repeatedly pressed the Ukrainian government to investigate political rival Joe Biden and Biden’s son Hunter, who served as director of a Ukrainian energy [...]

10 Oct, 2019

Supreme Court Appears Divided Over LGBTQ Employment Law

2019-10-10T17:18:53-05:00October 10th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , |

The Supreme Court appeared to be closely divided after hearing two hours of oral argument this week in three LGBTQ federal law cases.  Two of those cases, No. 17-1618, Altitude Express Inc. v. Zarda and No. 17-1623, Bostock v. Clayton County, ask whether a worker can be fired based on their sexual orientation. The third, No. 18-107, R.G. & [...]

9 Oct, 2019

Supreme Court Gives Lawyers Two Uninterrupted Minutes

2019-10-09T14:20:28-05:00October 9th, 2019|Tags: , , , |

  Starting Monday, attorneys who appear before the Court are allotted two minutes of uninterrupted time at the beginning of oral argument.  It may not seem like much, but those familiar with recent trends recognize it as a significant departure from longstanding courtroom procedure. Today’s Supreme Court is known as a “hot bench,” wherein some [...]

6 Sep, 2019

Justice Kavanaugh’s First Year Impact

2019-09-06T17:00:20-05:00September 6th, 2019|Tags: , , , , |

Last September, 20 million people watched a combative Brett Kavanaugh defend himself and his judicial record during a contentious week of confirmation hearings.  The Senate ultimately confirmed Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court in a 50-48 vote, largely split down party lines. With Kavanaugh’s second term set to begin October 1, we take a look at [...]

5 Sep, 2019

Law Clerks Prepare “Long Conference” Denials

2019-09-05T14:42:41-05:00September 5th, 2019|Tags: , , , , |

The Supreme Court will return October 1 to a backload of approximately 1,800 petitions that have piled up over the summer.  Almost every one of them will be denied.  Also known as the “Long Conference,” the Justices’ first meeting after summer recess is particularly brutal for cert. seekers who filed a petition in the preceding [...]