Tuesday, October 31, 2006
UMN Law Prof. David Stras has a review of two books that came out earlier this year on Supreme Court clerks, Courtiers of the Marble Palace: The Rise and Influence of the Supreme Court Law Clerk by Todd C. Peppers and Sorcerers' Apprentices: 100 Years of Law Clerks at the United States Supreme Court by Artemus Ward and David L. Weiden, forthcoming in volume 85 of the Texas Law Review, but available now on SSRN.
I mentioned the books (in the context of a review by Judge Posner, who, incidentally, gave both the thumbs up) in a post on May 31.
But there's more! (and this I'm just copying from the SSRN abstract so I don't screw it up)
"This Review Essay also reports the results from the first empirical examination of every pool memo from four Terms of the Supreme Court: October Terms 1984, 1985, 1991 and 1992. Three characteristics of the cert pool become apparent: (1) it is stingy with respect to making grant recommendations; (2) it emphasizes objective criteria of certworthiness in making its recommendations, such as the presence of lower court conflict; and (3) there is statistical evidence suggesting that its recommendations are correlated with the eventual decisions made by the Court on petitions for certiorari."
I had Stras for Criminal Law last spring, and consider it one of the great injustices of the tenure system that he isn't teaching this semester. I haven't read the review yet, but given that I am fairly sure that it will be worth reading, I'm posting this now so you too can help boost his SSRN numbers.
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