A Journal of Applied Research in Contemporary Politics
Ed. by Disalvo, Daniel / Stonecash, Jeffrey
IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 0.500
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 0.623
CiteScore 2018: 0.83
SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.595
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.631
Of Closed Minds and Open Mouths: Indicators of Supreme Court Justice Votes during the 2009 and 2010 Sessions
In this article, we explore the possibility that Supreme Court oral argument matters, but not in the conventional sense. Instead of oral argument serving as a means for counsel to convince justices of their position, we posit that justices use oral argument to convince their brethren of their own views of the case under consideration. Accordingly, we hypothesize that justices will more readily interrupt and question counsel for the side with which they disagree, to counter counsels’ arguments and illuminate points that favor their own preferred outcome. We do so by examining the way the justices behave during oral argument in eleven salient cases before the U.S. Supreme Court during its 2009 and 2010 terms. We then link the interruptions to the individual justices’ votes and to the likelihood of authoring opinions, before drawing conclusions and making suggestions for further research.
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