Rumpole is giving out free (and good!) trial advice. No jury trials in January. The conventional thinking is that the Thanksgiving to Christmas window is a wonderful time to try cases because jurors are more forgiving. Thoughts?
Meantime, the Supreme Court can't find enough cases to hear. From the WP:
It’s the result of a diminished docket at the court, one with the potential of a historic low. So far, the justices have found fewer cases than usual worthy of receiving full briefing and oral argument.
According to Scotusblog, the independent Web site that tracks the court’s proceedings, the justices are about 10 cases short of what they normally would have taken at this point of the term.
The court has almost total discretion over its docket and accepts about 1 percent of the petitions its receives. At least four of the nine justices must agree to take a case, and attorneys, law professors and legal experts love to speculate on why the court takes so few.
There’s the view that the law clerks who review the petitions are reluctant to suggest their bosses take a case, for fear the case might not turn out to be a good vehicle. There is a theory that the court’s deep ideological divide makes agreement difficult, or that the lack of major legislation from Congress gives the court less to interpret.
But some things simply haven’t worked out the way the justices planned. For instance, the court decided to examine Oklahoma’s new abortion restrictions. But first it asked for clarification from the state’s highest court on the breadth of Oklahoma’s law restricting drug-induced abortions.
When the state court said that the law would virtually eliminate all nonsurgical abortions, the Supreme Court simply let stand the lower court’s decision that it was unconstitutional. There was no explanation, but the justices apparently were looking for an opportunity to decide the more narrow issue on when the drugs could be prescribed.
Another case — on a fundamental civil rights rule that a public policy may be found discriminatory because of its results, rather than any biased intent — was scuttled when the lawsuit was settled just before oral arguments.
The court got rid of one case after it became clear during oral arguments that it had fundamental flaws that prevented the justices from deciding the broader issues at hand.
Justice Antonin Scalia scolded one of the lawyers in the age-discrimination case for not doing of better job of telling the court all the reasons “why we shouldn’t have taken it in the first place.”
In the parlance of the court, the case was DIGged — “dismissed as improvidently granted.”
Your Monday moment of zen: