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Source of Information or 'Dog and Pony Show'?: Judicial Information Seeking During U.S. Supreme Court Oral Argument, 1963-1965 & 2004-2009

104 Pages Posted: 15 Sep 2009 Last revised: 22 Jun 2011

James Cleith Phillips

University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, Students

Edward Carter

Brigham Young University

Date Written: September 10, 2009

Abstract

Scholars and lawyers have long debated what role, if any, oral argument plays in the U.S. Supreme Court's decision-making process. While some have attempted anecdotally to determine whether or not Justices use oral argument to gather information in order to decide a case, few have attempted to investigate oral argument empirically. Additionally, no scholar to date has specifically measured the levels of information-seeking behavior during oral argument of individual Justices. Finally, there have been few studies attempting to quantitatively compare oral argument behavior in different time periods. This study attempts to address such deficiencies in Supreme Court scholarship.

Keywords: oral argument, Supreme Court

Suggested Citation

Phillips, James Cleith and Carter, Edward, Source of Information or 'Dog and Pony Show'?: Judicial Information Seeking During U.S. Supreme Court Oral Argument, 1963-1965 & 2004-2009 (September 10, 2009). Santa Clara Law Review, Vol. 50, pp. 101-203, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1472247

James Cleith Phillips (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, Students ( email )

Berkeley, CA
United States

Edward Carter

Brigham Young University ( email )

Provo, UT 84602
United States

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