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Oral Arguments Before the Supreme Court: An Empirical Approach

Lawrence Wrightsman

Abstract

Of all the activities done by the Supreme Court justices as they form their decisions on important cases, the oral arguments are the only step in the process visible to the public. Despite this transparency, critics of the oral argument phase question its usefulness, claiming that the one-hour arguments provide much less information to the justices than the 50-page briefs; furthermore, the justices have already made up their minds. This book challenges these claims and takes the position that the oral arguments are a significant part of the decision-making process. Justices can test the limits ... More

Keywords: oral arguments, 50-page briefs, one-hour arguments, Supreme Court, Appellate advocates, Chief Justice, Solicitor General, Supreme Court bar

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780195368628
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195368628.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Lawrence Wrightsman, author
Department of Psychology, University of Kansas