I heard last night from Howard Bashman, who heads the appellate group at Buchanan Ingersoll – and has a blog. Howard writes an appellate practitioner column, and observes that “[a]ppellate lawyers usually labor in obscurity, but the Internet no longer makes that as easy as it once was.” True enough – through Howard we now can keep up with a fellow who practices before the Supreme Court and lives to tell the tale. (He also notes with alacrity that Bag and Baggage is not “totally devoted“ to appellate law. Heh.) [Bag & Baggage]
Another subject-matter expert (in this case, Howard Bashman, partner at Buchanan Ingersoll) shows up on the blogging scene. Here’s an example of the kind of insight offered (a point that hadn’t occurred to me, but which makes perfect sense) relating to the current imbroglio between President Bush and the Senate over judicial appointments:
Of course, in order for the vast majority of cases to reach the U.S. Supreme Court, they must first pass through the lower courts. Due to increasing judicial vacancies in the federal court system, it’s becoming harder and harder for cases to be processed and decided in a timely manner.
Which raises an interesting question: how does this ultimately affect the number and nature of cases that do reach the Supreme Court? If fewer writs are filed, does that mean the Court will hear fewer cases? Wouldn’t an interesting consequence of the 2000 election be that the Court ultimately exercised less influence over the social and political landscape because they had fewer opportunities to express an opinion?