On the SCOTUSBlog "About Us" page, the authors state the following:
SCOTUSblog is devoted to comprehensively covering the U.S. Supreme Court—without bias and according to the highest journalistic and legal ethical standards. The blog is provided as a public service and is sponsored by Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, LLP.
Tom Goldstein and Amy Howe – husband and wife – founded the blog in 2002. Reporter Lyle Denniston joined a few years later. Other permanent and part-time staff members have joined over time. Significant contributions have come from lawyers and summer associates at Tom and Amy’s law firms, as well as their students at Stanford and Harvard Law Schools. Now more than twenty people work on or write for the blog.Update: Just to keep any comments made in perspective, most of the attorneys who work for Akin Gump also donate heavily to the Democrat party.
The blog generally reports on every merits case before the Court at least three times: prior to argument; after argument; and after the decision. In certain cases, we invite the advocates to record summaries of their arguments for podcasts. The blog notes all of the non-pauper cert. petitions that seek to raise a legal question which in Tom’s view may interest the Justices; Lyle gives additional coverage to particularly significant petitions. For the merits cases and the petitions we cover, we provide access to all the briefs.
Many of the blog’s posts go beyond coverage of individual cases. Each business day, we provide a "Round-up" of what has been written about the Court. We regularly publish broader analytical pieces. Lyle also comprehensively covers litigation relating to detainees in the "war on terrorism"—a topic of recurring interest at the Court. The blog carries significant analysis of nominees to the Court. In addition, various special projects—such as our thirty days of tributes to Justice Stevens—may span several weeks. Significant books related to the Court are the subject of our "Ask the author" series. A calendar lists significant dates for activity at the Court and programs relating to it. We also regularly publish statistics relating to the Term.
Tracking petitions on SCOTUSblog 4.0
By Kiran Bhat
November 17, 2010
The Supreme Court receives thousands of petitions for certiorari each year, but it chooses to hear only a tiny fraction of them. At SCOTUSblog, we search the docket daily for the petitions the Court is most likely to grant. The end results of this process on SCOTUSblog 4.0 are petition case pages, the “Petition of the day” feature, and the “Petitions We’re Watching” section of the website.
We first narrow SCOTUSblog’s docket by screening out petitions that are unlikely to receive consideration. We exclude petitions filed pro se or in forma pauperis, as the Court rarely hears cases in which the petitioner represents him- or herself or cases in which court-imposed fees are waived for the petitioner. We exclude petitions for writs of mandamus and petitions for rehearings as well.
We then review the questions presented by each remaining petition for a few characteristics that dramatically increase the likelihood that the Court will grant certiorari. Cases with the potential to resolve disagreements between federal appellate courts are often of special interest to the Court, as are cases in which a defendant is eligible for capital punishment. The Court gives extra consideration to cases in which the petitioner is either the United States (or one of its officials or agencies) or one of the fifty states (or one of its officials). Finally, the Court itself demonstrates interest in certain cases by inviting the Solicitor General to file a brief expressing the views of the United States. SCOTUSblog covers petitions that meet at least some of these criteria.
Read more . . .