Sunday, October 2, 2011

Mission Statement

The Supreme Court decides approximately 80 decisions every year, but the majority of news focuses on the few politically-salient "blockbuster" cases. These are the ideologically charged 5-4 splits that draw fiery dissents from the bench, sharp criticism from both sides of the Congressional aisles, and Presidential commentary during annual addresses.

But most of the cases the Court considers are justifiably categorized as "snoozers" - the Court working in its administrative capacity to settle differences of interpretation arising out of lower courts. It's very difficult to make a story about three words hidden in a paragraph of the bankruptcy code seem relevant to anyone, and I doubt many people care to see if they have standing under the 10th amendment (after all, "standing doctrine is where all interestingness goes to die").

As a young college graduate now living in DC, my goal here is to make others love the legal process as much as I do. I'll be stripping away the legalese and esoteric facade in the hopes of conveying why each case is important, and maybe even interesting. It's not difficult to see the relevance in a case that decides an election or legalizes abortion, but it takes more work to see how a Supreme Court ruling in a patent law case will impact the entire medical community.

I hope you will follow me in this discussion, and share your comments. There is a vibrant online community of Supreme Court analysis and I will do my best to share as much of it as possible with you. What I consider to be the best sources for commentary are listed on the right, as well as a list of Supreme Court events as I hear word of them.

The first oral arguments of the term will begin at 10am tomorrow morning. For anyone hoping to see it, I look forward to meeting you at 6am on the steps outside. For the rest of you, I hope you will tune-in for my commentary on the cases afterword.

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