The Supreme Court and Opinion Content: The Influence of Parties’ Brief
It is argued in this paper that there are reasons to believe that parties’ briefs can influence Supreme Court opinions. Attorneys are trained to write persuasively and are told that judges will use the briefs to justify and explain decisions. Recent evidence shows that justices are influenced by the quality and persuasiveness of legal argumentation. The author utilized plagiarism software to compare the language of the briefs and of the judge’s opinions to demonstrate there is a connection.
Do parties’ briefs influence the content of Supreme Court opinions? The author contends that the parties, through the briefs submitted on the merits, have the ability to influence the content of opinions and, consequently, have the ability to influence the law. Utilizing plagiarism software, the author compares the parties’ briefs with the majority opinion of the Court. The results indicate that there is a connection between the language of the parties’ briefs and the language of the opinions, which means that parties have the potential to influence the law.
Corley, P. (2007). The Supreme Court and Opinion Content: The Influence of Parties’ Briefs Political Research Quarterly, 61 (3), 468-478 DOI: 10.1177/1065912907306474