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2019

Faculty Scholarship

Texas A&M University School of Law

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Overwriting And Under-Deciding: Addressing The Roberts Court's Shrinking Docket, Meg Penrose Jan 2019

Overwriting And Under-Deciding: Addressing The Roberts Court's Shrinking Docket, Meg Penrose

Faculty Scholarship

How do we evaluate a Supreme Court that writes more than it decides? Despite having the lowest decisional output in the modern era, the Roberts Court is the most verbose Supreme Court in history. The current Justices are more likely than past Justices to have their individual say in cases, writing more concurring and dissenting opinions than prior Courts. These opinions are longer, often strongly worded, and rarely add clarity to the underlying decision. The Roberts Court has shifted from being a decisional body to becoming an institution that comments on more cases than it decides.

This article critiques the ...