Our Firm’s Amicus Briefs for GOA Ranked Among Highest in Policy Shifting Cases

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Empirical SCOTUSBlog ranked the amicus briefs we filed for Gun Owners of America (“GOA”) tied for 13th in the country in “Policy Shifting Cases” during the period 2000-16.  This analysis focused on cases where the High Court struck down statutes as unconstitutional or overturned its own precedents.  In this listing, GOA was rated above long-time powerhouse interest groups like the AFL-CIO and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.  The analysis is entitled “Amicus Policy Success in Impactful Supreme Court Decisions.

The study reported:  “Perhaps the biggest development in the modern Supreme Court alongside the great discretion the justices now have in dictating the cases they hear is the role of interest groups.  Over the past several decades the Supreme Court has increasingly become the forum for such groups and their attempts at persuasion; the object of persuasion being the amicus brief….    Cases that lead the Court to rule statutes unconstitutional or to overturn its own precedent tend to have significant policy effects and the Court is often directed to such aspects of cases in early phases of litigation….  According to the United States Supreme Court Database, the Court has ruled a statute unconstitutional and/or has overturned its own precedent in 87 cases since the 2000 term.  Approximately 836 merits stage amicus briefs were filed in this set of cases or just under 10 briefs per case on average.  Several groups were clearly dominant in filing briefs on behalf of winning sides in these cases and consequently in moving policy in their preferred directions.”