American Judges Association


Date of this Version



Court Review - Volume 57


Used by permission.


The Supreme Court’s October Term 2020 provided plenty of compelling storylines, principally the appointment of Justice Amy Coney Barrett to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Other noteworthy features included telephonic oral arguments (featuring regular participation by Justice Thomas) and high-profile use of the so-called shadow docket for injunctions and stays (most famously in cases seeking to undo presidential election results in various States—and arising post-Term in the challenged Texas abortion statute). With all that excitement, the focus shifted away from the Court’s civil docket in argued cases (the subject of this column); indeed, the Court’s decision at the end of the term to hear the abortion-rights case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, No. 19-1392, seemed to overshadow the usual late June download of blockbuster decisions.