Monday, August 02, 2010

Death of the Amicus Brief

An important and growing trend is the rise of cert-stage amicus briefs which seem to have great influence on whether a case reaches the Court's docket. As the number of merits stage amicus briefs has grown, their influence has diminished since the justices (or their clerks) cannot or do not want to read all of them. As Tony Mauro and Marcia Coyle write here, "In the 73 cases that were granted and decided last term by signed opinions, a total of 74 amicus curiae briefs were filed before review or certiorari was granted, up from 66 the previous term and 44 the term before that."

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