Monday, January 8, 2018

When SCOTUS Justices Interrupt One Another

The SCOTUS blog summarizes several studies indicating that judicial interruptions help predict how the Justices will vote:

 In a recent paper, Tonja Jacobi and Kyle Rozema studied oral arguments from 1960  In a recent paper, Tonja Jacobi and Kyle Rozema studied oral arguments from 1960 through 2015 and found that when justices interrupt each other during oral argument, they are seven percent less likely to vote together in that case.

These findings add to existing data analyzing the relationship between oral arguments and the outcome of cases. A 2009 study by Timothy R. Johnson, Ryan C. Black, Jerry Goldman and Sarah Truel found that the advocate who is asked more questions is more likely to lose the case, and Bryce J. Dietrich, Ryan D. Enos and Maya Sen were able to accurately predict many of the justices’ eventual votes in a case solely through measurement of their vocal pitch at oral argument. Taken together, these studies suggest that if we crunch all the right data, we can guess how the justices will rule months before they tell through 2015 and found that when justices interrupt each other during oral argument, they are seven percent less likely to vote together in that case.

 These findings add to existing data analyzing the relationship between oral arguments and the outcome of cases. A 2009 study by Timothy R. Johnson, Ryan C. Black, Jerry Goldman and Sarah Truel found that the advocate who is asked more questions is more likely to lose the case, and Bryce J. Dietrich, Ryan D. Enos and Maya Sen were able to accurately predict many of the justices’ eventual votes in a case solely through measurement of their vocal pitch at oral argument. Taken together, these studies suggest that if we crunch all the right data, we can guess how the justices will rule months before they tell us.

You can read more here.

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http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legal_skills/2018/01/when-scotus-justices-interrupt-one-another.html

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