Author: Brandon V. Stracener

SCOCA Year in Review 2018: Still Not the Brown Court

SCOCA Year in Review 2018: Still Not the Brown Court

OVERVIEW Ordinarily a court year-in-review article overviews significant cases and any changes in the court’s personnel. Because the California Supreme Court is currently enduring its longest-ever seat vacancy — over thirteen months and counting — we evaluated the impact pro tem justices are having on the court’s voting record. We draw several conclusions: There is a voting record distinction between the senior justices and the justices appointed by Governor Brown; The pro tem justices do not vote in lockstep with the Chief Justice or the majority; Which governor appointed a pro tem justice does not correlate with pro tem voting;...

The California Supreme Court Should Consider Using Summary Reversal

The California Supreme Court Should Consider Using Summary Reversal

The California Supreme Court has a problem. There is tension between its mission to give each case due consideration, and the need to keep its docket under control. This piece proposes a possible solution: summary reversal.[1] On average, each year the court considers twenty capital cases, forty related habeas corpus petitions, 5200 petitions for review in civil and criminal matters, and 3400 writ petitions (primarily noncapital habeas corpus petitions). 2013 Court Statistics Report (2013) at 5. Except for oral argument weeks, the justices meet each week in conference to discuss and vote on between 150 and 300 petitions. Goodwin Liu,...