Docket Capture at the High Court
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CitationRichard J. Lazarus, Docket Capture at the High Court, 199 Yale L.J. Online 89 (2009).
AbstractThe declining number of cases on the Supreme Court’s plenary docket may or may not be a problem. After all, there are many good reasons that such a decline could be happening, including the obvious possibility that the Court was previously hearing too many cases that did not warrant plenary review and is now doing a better, not worse, job of picking cases. But while having fewer cases is not necessarily problematic, what is worrisome is the very real possibility that the Court’s plenary docket is increasingly captured by an elite group of expert Supreme Court advocates, dominated by those in the private bar. The same way that powerful economic interests can capture an agency or any other entity that purports to exercise authority over those interests, so too may the Supreme Court’s docket be “captured” by the more powerful economic interests that know best how to influence the decisionmaking of the Justices at the jurisdictional stage. It is, accordingly, not the number of cases on the plenary docket but rather their content that is the real problem.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:11225429
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