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Category Archives: Legal Research

The Evolution of Consensus in the U.S. Supreme Court

Rice, Douglas and Zorn, Christopher J., The Evolution of Consensus in the U.S. Supreme Court (July 22, 2014). Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2470029

For small, collegial bodies such as the U.S. Supreme Court, interpersonal dynamics play a key role in the decision making process. Previous work on the Court has focused on the existence of “consensual norms,” examined only the presence of concurring and dissenting opinions, and rested entirely on aggregate statistics. As a result, that work is limited in its ability to uncover inter-justice conflict during the 19th and early 20th centuries and fails to explain whether changes in the Court’s collegiality are due to shifts in issues, personnel, or the larger political environment. A sentiment analysis of all opinions — majority, concurring, and dissenting — issued by the Court between 1792 and 2000 allows us to measure the degree of consensual and discordant content for every opinion, justice, and term of the Court. Leveraging data at the opinion level also allows us to exploit an identification strategy for uncovering “chief justice effects.” Our findings suggest a permanent increase in overall levels of valenced language in dissenting opinions corresponding roughly to the ascension of Chief Justice Taft, and a similar increase among majority opinions under Chief Justice Burger. However, though we uncover substantial justice-level differences in the positivity or negativity of opinion content, we find little evidence of systematic variations in the polarity of language associated with the regimes of particular chief justices.”

The Impact of Judicial Vacancies on Federal Trial Courts

Alicia Bannon – Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law: “In an earlier report, the Brennan Center analyzed national court data on vacancies and caseload in order to document the burden that judicial vacancies create. In this study we dig deeper, analyzing the experiences of 10 districts that currently have judicial vacanciesContinue Reading

Democratic House Staff Report on Fourth Anniversary of Dodd-Frank Act

Follow up to Report: Dodd-Frank Act Does Not End Too Big to Fail But Perpetuates It as Official Policy - today, the Democrat’s interpretation of the same subject – The Fourth Anniversary of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Protection Act of 2010, Democratic Staff Report Prepared for Democratic Members of the House Committee on Financial Services - The HonorableContinue Reading

Trends in State Courts 2014

“Trends in State Courts 2014 focuses on what courts can do, and are doing, to serve the needs of society’s most vulnerable groups: juveniles and the elderly. Articles in two special sections focus on many aspects of juvenile justice and elder issues, such as the Models for Change Juvenile Justice Initiative funded by the John D.Continue Reading

Consumer Cloud Robotics and the Fair Information Practice Principles

Proia, Andrew A. and Simshaw, Drew and Hauser, Kris, Consumer Cloud Robotics and the Fair Information Practice Principles: Recognizing the Challenges and Opportunities Ahead (2014). Minnesota Journal of Law, Science & Technology, Forthcoming. Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2466723 “Rapid technological innovation has made commercially accessible consumer robotics a reality. At the same time, individuals andContinue Reading

Global Cybercrime: The Interplay of Politics and Law

The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) - Aaron Shull, June 2014 “Examining global cybercrime as solely a legal issue misses an important facet of the problem. Understanding the applicable legal rules, both domestically and internationally, is important. However, major state actors are using concerted efforts to engage in nefarious cyber activities with the intention ofContinue Reading

Analysis of Recent Mass Shootings Released by Advocacy Group

“In 2013, Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America came together to tackle our shared goals. We’ve combined the best minds in policy-making with a grassroots movement of more than 2 million motivated members…Using FBI data and media reports, Everytown for Gun Safety developed an analysis of mass shootingsContinue Reading

NHTSA Study – Motor Vehicle Crashes Have $871 Billion Economic, Societal Impact on U.S. Citizens

“The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today released a new study that underscores the high economic toll and societal impact of motor vehicle crashes in the United States. The price tag for crashes comes at a heavy burden for Americans at $871 billion in economic loss and societal harm. ThisContinue Reading

The Good Society newest issues now open access : Democratic Theory and Mass Incarceration

Joshua A. Miller - “The new issue (vol. 23, no. 1) is devoted to a single symposium on the intersection of mass incarceration and democracy. It’s available on Project MUSE for institutional subscribers, and on JSTOR, where all the articles will be open access for the next two months Albert Dzur introduces the issue in “Penal Democracy.” Many of theContinue Reading

Law School Training for Licensed ‘Legal Technicians’? Implications for the Consumer Market

“Chambliss, Elizabeth, Law School Training for Licensed ‘Legal Technicians’? Implications for the Consumer Market (July 14, 2014). South Carolina Law Review, Vol. 65, No. 3, 2014. Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2466042 “In January 2014, the ABA Task Force on the Future of Legal Education released its report calling, among other things, for limited licensing andContinue Reading

New Data on Unaccompanied Children in Immigration Court

“Records just obtained under the Freedom of Information Act offer new insights about government policies governing the handling of the recent surge of unaccompanied children seeking entry into the U.S. As of the end of June 2014, the more than 100,000 case records obtained and analyzed by Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) show thatContinue Reading

White House Office of National Drug Control Policy – The 2014 National Drug Control Strategy

The 2014 National Drug Control Strategy, July 2014 “I am pleased to transmit the 2014 National Drug Control Strategy, a 21st century approach to drug policy that is built on decades of research demonstrating that addiction is a disease of the brain—one that can be prevented, treated, and from which people can recover. The pagesContinue Reading