Saturday, May 31, 2008

Getting Ready for End-of-Term Reviews

This is the time of year when the nation's high courts are completing their annual terms and preparing for the summer break. That means, that with regard to two of those courts, the Supreme Court and the New York Court of Appeals, it is time to examine the developments over the past year.

For the Supreme Court this marks the third year in which John Roberts has presided in the center seat. For the New York court, it is the final year of Judith Kaye's tenure as Chief Judge. What will be particularly fascinating is, as usual, the voting and opinion patterns and trends in these courts.

More specifically, for the Supreme Court it will be interesting to look at the patterns of agreement and disagreement between Justice Alito ("Scalito") and Justice Scalia, and to compare those with the same for the Chief Justice and Scalia. Preliminary indications are that there is more "Scalberts" than "Scalito." At the New York court, it will be interesting to examine the continued increase in division among the judges brought on in recent years by the former-Governor Pataki appointee majority.