Dahlia Lithwick speaks with Joan Biskupic about Supreme Court bar’s lack of diversity.

Why Do So Few Lawyers Bring So Many of the Supreme Court Cases?

Why Do So Few Lawyers Bring So Many of the Supreme Court Cases?

Law and the Supreme Court justices who interpret it.
Jan. 10 2015 1:32 PM

Amicus: The Super Lawyers

Dahlia Lithwick talks to the author of a new report about the elite group of lawyers who bring most of the cases at the Supreme Court.

amicus podcast.

Photo illustration by Slate. Photos by Thinkstock.

Listen to Episode 8 of Slate’s Amicus:

Over the past few years, the Supreme Court was six times more likely to accept cases from an elite group of 66 lawyers than it was from more than 99 percent of those who petitioned the court. That’s the finding of a recent Reuters special report called “The Echo Chamber.” It illustrates how almost half the appeals accepted by the court over a nine-year period came from this cadre of elite lawyers—many of whom have personal connections to the nine justices.

On this episode of Amicus, Dahlia Lithwick speaks with Reuters reporter Joan Biskupic, one of the report’s co-authors, about the implications of the lack of diversity on the court bar and whether noncorporate clients are getting shut out as a result. Then Dahlia hears from two of the attorneys high up on the report’s elite list of influential lawyers: Tom Goldstein of Goldstein & Russell, PC, and Paul Clement of Bancroft PLLC.

Please let us know what you think of Amicus, our new legal affairs podcast. Our email is amicus@slate.com.

Podcast production by Tony Field.

Dahlia Lithwick writes about the courts and the law for Slate and hosts the podcast Amicus.