Barely Legally

Confessions of a Moot Court Bailiff

Network Theory and Owls

Interesting headline in New Scientist: Network Theory Reveals Patterns in Supreme Court Votes. From the article:

The nine members of the US Supreme Court show patterns of common voting that have allowed researchers using network theory to guess how individual justices would have voted in past cases with an accuracy of up to 83 per cent.

The article makes reference to the dangers of casting any single Justice as an ideologue who votes in a single-minded fashion. That kind of cuts off my planned punchline about Constructionism, but I will say this:

When spotted owls are at stake, Justice Antonin Scalia is a stone cold killer. Dude is not effing around. His dissent in Babbitt shows that he’s not a strict constructionist all the time. Sometimes, a man just wants to see some goddamn owls meet their maker.