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35 posted on 01/07/2010 1:20:21 PM PST by Kenny Bunk (The eligibility topic is closed (for me) until after Writs of Quo Warranto hearings are held.)
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To: Kenny Bunk

Timetables don’t govern the judges, only the lawyers !! It’s sort of how Congress makes laws from which they exempt themselves.

BUT ... let’s assume for now that all the briefing at the Court of Appeals is done. (we’ll leave motions aside). AND, I am not a lawyer and am going by memory (which gives LOTS of wiggle room).

I assume that the briefing is concluded because the party who appeals is given a date to file his/her/their opening brief; the appellees have another designated date (usually a month - 30 days) to file an opposing brief; then the appellant has another 2 weeks to file the Reply Brief. This thread shows a Reply Brief. Nothing further is filed by the appellees. It’s the appellant who has to prove his/her/their case, so they are given the rebuttal.

The Clerk makes sure everything is in order and gives it to the judges chosen for the case’s panel. Well, the Clerk gives it to the judges clerks. At the appellate level those clerks tend to be recent law school grads, which is a little frightening, even tho at this court they would be among the best of the recent crop. My concern would be not only their lack of experience, but political biases going in. R-appointed judges tend to choose R-leaning law clerks, and D-appointed judges tend to choose D-leaning clerks, so there’s a little more politics in the court than we’d like to see. (note that Sotomayor worked for Judge Abner Mikva, who before his judgeship was a liberal Dem Congressman).

The Clerks review all the briefs, the cases cited and arguments made, and prepare summaries for and against. They often look to other cases for precedent, as well. The judges review the summaries, take a vote and decide what they will do. They may appoint one to write an opinion. Or not. They can just file an order setting out their decision, i.e., the decision of the lower court is affirmed, or there is a remand back to the lower court for further consideration. No timetable.

Whichever party doesn’t like the order usually will file for a reconsideration by the panel, pointing out where that party thinks they are wrong on the law or the facts, and/or a reconsideration by the entire court. That has to be done within 30 days in this court. Other courts have shorter time frames.

I don’t know how often a panel reverses itself, but again we’ll assume they stand by their decision. So, the reconsideration motion would be circulated to all the judges sitting on that court. If X number of judges want to review the panel’s decision, the whole court has to have their clerks review and go through the same process as the panel had done earlier. They issue an order and/or opinion based on the full court’s review. Again, there’s no timetable for that.

In any case, once a case has completed its rounds at a Court of Appeals, unless it is remanded to a lower court for further consideration, it is ready for the SCOTUS. Whichever party didn’t like the ultimate ruling has 90 days to file its appeal petition there.

The SCOTUS does not have to accept any appeal or state why it isn’t taking it. They historically take maybe 50 cases a year out of something like 8K that are submitted.

The wheels of justice, a wise man said, grind exceedingly slow. How fine they grind remains to be seen.

(how’s that for a long answer to your one word question?)

36 posted on 01/07/2010 3:13:45 PM PST by EDINVA
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