As temperatures continue to dip, why not curl up with a lengthy Supreme Court opinion on a big case from October? Because there aren’t any. As The New York Times points out: such SCOTUS orders aren’t the usual “too long and tangled.” They are short and filled with silence. (Brrr.)
From expanding the availability of same-sex marriage, allowing a dozen abortion clinics in Texas to reopen and making it more difficult to vote in three states and easier in one, recent orders have been “terse.” As The Times notes: “When the stakes are higher, the court turns oracular.”
Per the article, William Baude, a University of Chicago law professor, offers his professional critique.
“The court’s unexplained orders don’t always live up to its otherwise high standards of legal craft. The court doesn’t tell us its reasoning, and we don’t
even know for sure which justices agree with the result.”
The Times recalls Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.’s intention at his confirmation hearing to make the court’s opinions clear and accessible.
“I hope we haven’t gotten to the point where the Supreme Court’s opinions are so abstruse that the educated layperson can’t pick them up and read them and understand them.”
The Times concludes by stating that the court’s opinions aren’t abstruse. “They are absent.” (Brrr!)
Allow us to warm things up with a bit of legal levity, courtesy of a recent episode of “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” and a supreme pack of dogs.