During the first oral argument of the Supreme Court's February 1972 sitting, Justice Blackmun scrawled the following in his notes: “New bench separates Brennan and White, hurrah!” The reason for Blackmun's glee? Chief Justice Burger recently hired carpenters to cut the Court's straight bench into thirds so it would resemble a U‐shape that wrapped toward the lectern from which counsel argue cases. The change meant that Blackmun would no longer have to sit immediately next to Justices Brennan and White and hear them chit chat during oral argument. The bench angle would now separate them. More broadly, the change meant the Justices could see each other better and more clearly hear one another's questions during oral argument. In short, Burger's hope was that this curved bench would minimize the occurrence of Justices talking over one another while questioning the attorneys.Did Burger's bench change actually transform how the Justices behaved at oral argument? To answer this question, we analyze the oral argument transcripts from the 1962 to the 1982 Court terms. These data reflect all cases the Court heard ten terms prior to the bench change and ten terms subsequent to the change. Using these data, we examine whether, after
Journal of Supreme Court History – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera