December 7, 2015

Adam Feldman on Merits Briefs and Supreme Court Opinions

Adam Feldman, University of Southern California, Department of Political Science, has published A Brief Assessment of Supreme Court Opinion Language. Here is the abstract.
Supreme Court merits briefs are often the justices and clerks' primary resources for constructing opinions. Using linguistic analysis software, this paper compares nearly 9,500 merits briefs between 1946 and 2013 with their respective opinions to examine what leads the justices to incorporate varying amounts of language from the briefs in their opinions. The paper finds that the basic sources are the receptivity of the justice, the influence of the brief-writer, and the type of case.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

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