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University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame Supreme Court expert available to comment on Court's online transition

6-May-2020 2:50 PM EDT, by University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame's Matthew Hall, author of the 2018 tome What Judges Want: Goals and Personality on the U.S. Supreme Court is available to comment on the Court's online transition. 

Hall's initial comments are below.

"I would say there are two interesting aspects to this transition.

First, the decision itself is surprising, given that the Supreme Court is traditionally resistant to the use of technological advancements (e.g., television and photography in the courtroom). And the justices' willingness to embrace this technological advancement is especially surprising when contrasted against Congress's reluctance to do so.

Second, because this process is entirely new, we don't know how it may affect oral arguments, the conference discussion, or the Court's decision-making. Will the process discourage questioning during oral arguments? Will conference discussions be abbreviated? Will these dynamics encourage unanimity or discourage separate opinion authorship? Prior research suggests that moving in person conversations online has important effects, but we can only speculate how it will affect the Court's operations."




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