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US Chamber remains champion of cert-stage amicus ‘all stars’

Posted Apr 9, 2013 5:59 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has “cemented its status” as the top filer of amicus briefs at the cert stage, part of a trend in which the top amici have a decidedly “rightward tilt,” according to a new study.

The analysis posted at SCOTUSblog looked at cert-stage amicus filings in the U.S. Supreme Court from mid-May 2009 through mid-August 2012. The Chamber was No. 1 in a similar analysis of cert-stage amicus “all stars” five years ago. No. 2 in the current and prior analysis is the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Some differences emerge, however. Five years ago, pro-business and anti-regulatory groups held half the slots on a “sweet 16” list of top amici. Now they have more than three-quarters of the spots. “My data indicate that, as the court shapes its docket, it hears conservative voices far more often than liberal ones, and the disparity is growing,” according to the SCOTUSblog post by Adam Chandler, a Justice Department lawyer.

The top five in Chandler’s “sweet 16” are:

1) U.S. Chamber of Commerce

2) National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

3) Pacific Legal Foundation

4) Cato Institute

5) Washington Legal Foundation

Hat tip to How Appealing.

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