Law360's The Term: Lurking In The Shadow (Docket)

Law360 (February 19, 2021, 5:53 PM EST) -- The past week saw Congress' first-ever hearing on the U.S. Supreme Court's so-called shadow docket, the justices' late-night, unsigned orders on weighty legal questions that don't go through their normal process of public deliberation. Law360's The Term recaps the hearing's most notable moments.

Each week on The Term, Supreme Court reporter Jimmy Hoover and co-host Natalie Rodriguez break down all the high court action.

This week's episode involves a subject that has dominated the discourse about the Supreme Court lately: the shadow docket. Coined by constitutional scholar William Baude in a 2015 law article, the term refers to the cases that don't go through the Supreme Court's normal process of public arguments and signed merits opinions.

The shadow docket has drawn attention in recent years, with a number of journalists, watchdog groups and now lawmakers calling attention to the lack of transparency in these short orders and unsigned opinions. That scrutiny has only increased as the justices have used the shadow docket to decide ever more substantive legal questions, from the legality of COVID-19 restrictions to the death penalty.

The Term breaks down the highlights from Thursday's hearing of a House Judiciary subcommittee that is searching for possible reforms to the court's shadow docket, including ways to tweak the court's appellate jurisdiction in order to expand the justices' merits docket. 

More information about the show can be found here. You can also subscribe on Apple PodcastsStitcherSpotifyGoogle Play and iHeartRadio. And if you like the show, please leave a written review! It helps others find us more easily.

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