News and information useful to Cleveland State College of Law students, faculty and staff.

Archive for November 9th, 2022

This Just In: Persuading the Supreme Court: The Significance of Briefs in Judicial Decision-Making

Each year there are about one thousand amicus briefs submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court. These briefs seek to communicate information to the justices on how they should decide a given case. Usually the court receives many more amicus briefs than party briefs for a given case.

In Persuading the Supreme Court: The Significance of Briefs in Judicial Decision-Making, authors Morgan L.W. Hazelton and Rachael K. Hinkle looked at more than 25,000 party and amicus briefs filed between 1984 and 2015. They also reviewed the court opinions and conducted interviews with Court clerks and attorneys who prepared and argued briefs before the Court. The authors find that the resource advantage enjoyed by some parties likely stems from both the ability of their experienced attorneys to craft excellent briefs and their reputations with the justices. The analyses also reveal that information operates differently in terms of influencing who wins and what policy is announced.

Don’t forget about the law library’s database U.S. Supreme Court Records and Briefs, which is wonderful for historical research on Supreme Court decisions. The database covers court records and briefs from 1832-1978. Note: the database does not contain the case opinions, which are available many other places.