The United States Supreme Court’s new term begins today (October 1, 2012), the first Monday in October. The 2012-2013 docket thus far includes at least one case of particular interest to members of the NYLS community: In Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, involving a challenge to the University of Texas at Austin’s consideration of race as a factor in undergraduate admissions, New York Law School’s Racial Justice Project has filed an amicus brief on behalf of the National Black Law Student’s Association. (See this previous Mendik Matters post for additional details.) Fisher is set for argument on October 10, 2012.
Two great sources for learning about the new term are the ABA’s Preview of the United States Supreme Court Cases and the SCOTUS Blog. Preview is published eight times during the term, providing a concise analysis of cases granted review. The Preview website links to a list of the cases granted certiorari for the 2012-2013 term and provides links to the merits briefs filed in each case. The SCOTUS Blog provides comprehensive coverage and discussion of the Supreme Court and generally reports on every merits case before the Court at least three times: before argument; after argument; and after decision.
In preparing for the new term, you may also want to look back at earlier terms. At the end of each term, a number of journals and blogs provide a wealth of information on the types of cases heard by the Court, a breakdown of cases by major subject areas, analysis of key cases and opinions, and discussion of voting trends. For example, Preview devotes its last issue each year to a review of the newly completed term. The Harvard Law Review (also accessible via HeinOnline) devotes its November issue to coverage of the completed term, and the SCOTUS Blog provides a comprehensive end-of-term statistical analysis. End-of-term reviews are a great way to keep up with and learn more about the work of the nation’s highest court.