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Amici Curiae before the Supreme Court: Who Participates, When, and How Much?

Gregory A. Caldeira and John R. Wright
The Journal of Politics
Vol. 52, No. 3 (Aug., 1990), pp. 782-806
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2131827
Page Count: 25
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Amici Curiae before the Supreme Court: Who Participates, When, and How Much?
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Abstract

Our purpose is to describe and compare the variety and types of organizations that participate as amici curiae before the United States Supreme Court for decisions on petitions for writs of certiorari and jurisdictional statements as well as on decisions on the merits. We have classified all amici in cases from the 1982 Term of the Court according to their bases of membership--for example, citizen-based membership of advocacy groups, corporations, staff organizations such as public interest law firms, trade or professional associations, and so forth. Through this simple classificatory scheme, we seek answers to the fundamental questions of who participates as amicus curiae, when, and how much. Our findings reveal that the Supreme Court is remarkably accessible to a diverse array of organized interests at both stages of decision.

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