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US Supreme Court

Vanderbilt University Law School

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Remaking The United States Supreme Court In The Courts' Of Appeals Image, Tracey E. George, Chris Guthrie Jan 2009

Remaking The United States Supreme Court In The Courts' Of Appeals Image, Tracey E. George, Chris Guthrie

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

We argue that Congress should remake the United States Supreme Court in the U.S. courts' of appeals image by increasing the size of the Court's membership, authorizing panel decision making, and retaining an en banc procedure for select cases. In so doing, Congress would expand the Court's capacity to decide cases, facilitating enhanced clarity and consistency in the law as well as heightened monitoring of lower courts and the other branches. Remaking the Court in this way would not only expand the Court's decision making capacity but also improve the Court's composition, competence, and functioning.


The Most Dangerous Justice Rides Into The Sunset, Paul H. Edelman, Jim Chen Jan 2007

The Most Dangerous Justice Rides Into The Sunset, Paul H. Edelman, Jim Chen

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

In this essay, our third and last in a series, we employ our previously developed techniques to measure the power of the Justices in the Rehnquist Court over its full 11 year run. Once again, Justice Kennedy rises to the top of our rankings, as he had done earlier. Our methods identify Justices Souter, Breyer and Ginsburg as being notable either for their influence or lack thereof. In addition, we rejoin the debate on the connection between being the median justice and being the most powerful one. We question whether even the most sophisticated methods of finding the median justice …


Federalism And Accountability, Timothy Meyer Jan 2007

Federalism And Accountability, Timothy Meyer

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This article examines how one particular state institution, state attorneys general (SAGs), has operated within a unique set of institutional and political constraints to create state-based regulation with nationwide impact in policy areas including consumer protection, antitrust, environmental regulation, and securities regulation. This state-based regulation casts doubt on one of the principle rationales advanced in the Supreme Court's anticommandeering line of cases for limiting federal power; namely, that judicially-enforced limits on federal power enhance electoral accountability, a concept central to our democracy. If in the absence of federal regulation narrowly accountable state-based actors from a small number of states can …


The Most Dangerous Justice Rides Again: Revisiting The Power Pageant Of The Justices, Paul H. Edelman, Jim Chen Jan 2001

The Most Dangerous Justice Rides Again: Revisiting The Power Pageant Of The Justices, Paul H. Edelman, Jim Chen

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Who is the most powerful Supreme Court Justice? In 1996 we measured voting power on the Court according to each Justice's ability to form five-member coalitions. From the set of all coalitions formed by the Court during its 1994 and 1995 Terms, we developed a generalized Banzhaf index of the Justices' relative strength. Generally speaking, participating in a greater number of unique coalitions translates into greater judicial voting power. To supplement the small number of decisions then available, we derived hypothetical five-Justice coalitions from the intersections of actually observed coalitions involving more than five members. Professor Lynn Baker contested our …


All Or Nothing: Explaining The Size Of Supreme Court Majorities, Paul H. Edelman, Suzanna Sherry Jan 2000

All Or Nothing: Explaining The Size Of Supreme Court Majorities, Paul H. Edelman, Suzanna Sherry

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

In this Article, Professors Edelman and Sherry use a probabilistic model to explore the process of coalition formation on the United States Supreme Court. They identify coalition formation as a Markov process with absorbing states and examine voting patterns from twelve Court Terms. On the basis of their data, they conclude that Justices are reluctant to remain in small minorities. Surprisingly, however, they also find that a three-Justice minority coalition is less likely to suffer defections than a four-Justice minority coalition. This counterintuitive result suggests that while in general it is minority Justices rather than majority Justices who drive the …


The Most Dangerous Justice: The Supreme Court At The Bar Of Mathematics, Paul H. Edelman, Jim Chen Jan 1996

The Most Dangerous Justice: The Supreme Court At The Bar Of Mathematics, Paul H. Edelman, Jim Chen

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

We analyze the relative voting power of the Justices based upon Supreme Court decisions during October Term 1994 and October Term 1995. We take two approaches, both based on ideas derived from cooperative game theory. One of the measures we use has been used in connection with voting rights cases. After naming the Most Dangerous Justice, we conclude by identifying and explaining the inverse relationship between seniority and voting power.