Supreme Court Not Playing Nice With Executive Branch

By on February 23, 2017

February 23, 2017

Since Ronald Reagan, presidents have had a harder time finding success in arguments before the Supreme Court, a new study shows. Historically, “over the course of the 84 terms and 13 presidents in our data set, presidents prevailed in nearly two-thirds of their cases,” law professors Lee Epstein, of Washington University, and Eric Posner, of the University of Chicago, write in “The End of Supreme Court Deference to the President?” But after Ronald Reagan enjoyed a 75 percent success rate before the Court, the overall success rate for presidents has plunged to 60 percent, with Barack Obama faring even worse. “I think the most striking finding is how badly the Obama administration has done,” Posner says. “The question is why?” In the study, Epstein and Posner suggest that “Obama was just the latest victim of a court growing less and less deferential to the executive branch.” One theory is that presidents during that time have sought to expand the power of the executive branch, in what some have characterized as overreach. Another is that the specialized Supreme Court bar over the last 20 years has rivaled the quality of the Solicitors General. “The SG’s office has stayed about the same, while the Supreme Court bar has gotten better,” Posner said.

Read the full article at:

ABA Journal

One Comment

  1. David Lee

    February 23, 2017 at 5:19 pm

    So, does the law have substance, or is it just a matter of who do you know and who do you like?

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