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The Cockle Bur Blog

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

3 Apr, 2018

All About Original Actions

Author |Constitutional Law, Supreme Court, Supreme Court Rules|0 Comments

The Supreme Court receives many types of documents each day for its review. Appeals to the Supreme Court alone encompass a lot of different types of briefs, including petitions, briefs in opposition, amicus curiae briefs, and reply and supplemental briefs, to name a few. Less frequently, but equally important, are original actions, which are […]

16 Mar, 2018

March 16th: Recently Filed Petition

Author |Briefs Filed|0 Comments

Am. Expl. & Mining Ass’n v. Zinke, filed on March 9th


To read this Supreme Court petition, click the heading to open this post, then follow the link!

13 Mar, 2018

Supreme Court Trivia

Author |Uncategorized|0 Comments


“There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.” –Arthur Conan Doyle

From the installation of a frozen-yogurt machine to verified Klu Klux Klan membership–here are 25 SCOTUS facts you didn’t know you needed to know:
Curriculum Vitae:

Excluding Senate confirmation, there are no formal requirements for becoming a Supreme Court Justice.
57%, or 64 out of […]

9 Mar, 2018

Proofraed You’re Suprme Court Breif!

Author |Proofreading|0 Comments


Gressman on Supreme Court Practice – often referred to as the “Bible” on Supreme Court practice – details all matters of the Court, from how to (literally) pass through the Court’s guarded entrance to how to persuade the Court to invoke original jurisdiction.

On the importance of proofreading and finalization, Gressman provides:
Many brief writers do not […]

16 Feb, 2018

Guns and the Supreme Court in the Last Decade

Author |Supreme Court|0 Comments

Firearm case law in the United States is largely based on decisions of the Supreme Court and federal circuit courts of appeals.  When tragedies like Parkland, FL or Sandy Hook, CT occur, Second Amendment supporters and detractors are quick to opine on the state of guns in America.

Today, we offer a quick look at how […]

14 Feb, 2018

Special Edition: A Recently Filed Petition

Author |Briefs Filed|0 Comments

Lee-Walker v. New York City Dep’t of Educ., Supreme Court docket number 17-1065.




To read this Supreme Court petition, click the heading to open this post, then follow the link!

12 Feb, 2018

A Cert. Worthy Argument

Author |Preparing Your Brief|0 Comments

While Supreme Court experts offer nuanced distinctions on how to construct the argument section in a petition for writ of certiorari, most agree that accounting for the difference in purpose between a cert. petition and a brief filed in the lower courts is essential.

The paramount difference between a petition and a lower court brief is […]

1 Feb, 2018

How to File a Stay in the Supreme Court

Author |Constitutional Law, Supreme Court, Supreme Court Rules|1 Comment

The Supreme Court receives thousands of filings. These include various types of briefs, motions, and applications. The motions and applications the Court receives may include issues such as motions to file amicus curiae briefs, motions or applications for filing date extensions, and applications for stays of orders from the lower courts. Stay applications are frequently […]

18 Jan, 2018

The End of the Death Penalty?

Author |Prisoners|0 Comments

 Could the death penalty – never far from the Supreme Court’s docket – be nearing its demise?  Few issues have caused the Court more discomfort since the turn of the Century.

While most states (31) authorize the death penalty, few of them actually use it.  As of January 1, 2018, there were 2,816 death row inmates […]

9 Jan, 2018

Pro se filing at the Supreme Court

Author |Prisoners|1 Comment

Pro se is a legal term that comes from Latin, denoting “for oneself, or on one’s own behalf.” It means that an individual is representing him- or her-self in court, by choice, without the help of an attorney. Given the state of our economy and the rising costs of legal representation, it should come as no […]