Thursday, August 09, 2007

Internal operating procedure at SCOTUS

Tony Mauro of Legal Times has a good piece up on a recent talk given by Justice Alito on the High Court's internal operations. Here is my favorite tidbit:

During oral argument, Alito said in a talk at Pepperdine University School of Law in California, his colleagues are so inquisitive that "it's extremely difficult to get a question in."

Alito said his natural tendency would be to ask a question when the lawyer arguing before the Court gets to the subject he is curious about. But because his colleagues are asking so many questions of their own, Alito said, he sometimes has to use "a strategic opportunity to get a word in edgewise," posing his own query whenever he can, whether it changes the subject or not. Alito wryly suggested that the bench may be so garrulous because the current Court contains "the greatest proportion of former law professors" in Supreme Court history.

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