Appellate Advocacy Blog

Editor: Tessa L. Dysart
The University of Arizona
James E. Rogers College of Law

Monday, October 1, 2018

SCOTUS Term Kicks Off With an 8 Member Court

Today marked the start of the Supreme Court's October 2018 Term.  The Court heard argument in two cases.  SCOTUSBlog, as usual, has commentary on the cases and what the Court faces this term.

I last blogged about the Kavanaugh hearings a few days before they started.  I also posted a guest blog on the first day of the hearings.  I think that many people thought, following those hearings, that the October Term would start with a full Court.  However, that is not the case.  On September 14, sexual assault allegations against Judge Kavanaugh became public.  Two days later, we learned that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, a psychology professor in California, had sent Sen. Feinstein a letter in July accusing Judge Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in high school.  Since that time other allegations have been made against Kavanaugh, who has categorically denied them.  

The Senate held supplemental hearings last week on Kavanaugh's nomination, with both Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh testifying. Although Kavanaugh was voted out of Committee on a party-line vote, the full Senate is holding off for a week on the confirmation vote until the FBI conducts an investigation into the claims.  

The allegations have served to further divide a very divided country.  It will be interesting to see where we stand next week--do we have a full Court, or will President Trump be announcing a new nominee?  How will this controversy impact the midterm elections?

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