Our Guiding Philosophy:
SCOTUSblog aims to comprehensively cover the work of the Supreme Court.
SCOTUSblog is an impartial, journalistic entity. We exist to provide readers with objective information. We always clearly identify the limited commentary we publish.
We also attempt to avoid any appearance of bias or favoritism, including towards the clients of the attorneys who work on the blog. If at all possible, we avoid publishing pieces favoring one side of a case; we will instead have pieces with contrasting views.
The blog provides comprehensive coverage of all cases heard on the merits at the Supreme Court and all significant petitions for certiorari. However, to ensure that there are no actual or apparent conflicts of interest or factors that could diminish the blog’s editorial independence, the following rules apply:
- No person shall have any role in reporting on any case in which he or his firm, including attorneys of the Firm, plays any role other than a submission that does not in any respect advocate for any outcome in the case.
- The blog staff will note Firm merits cases only when required to provide comprehensive coverage – for example, describing an order granting certiorari and furnishing basic details about the case – but will not otherwise comment, report, or pass judgment on the cases.
- The blog will not suggest that a petition for certiorari filed by the Firm is deserving of review on the merits by the Court or (alternatively) suggest that a case in which the firm has filed a brief opposing review is not worthy thereof. The blog will note petitions in which the Firm is among the counsel to the petitioner or respondent in its “Petitions to Watch” and “Petition of the Day” features (so as not to inadvertently disadvantage either party to the litigation), but it will clearly state that such a listing occurs without regard to the likelihood that certiorari will be granted. The only exception is the extremely rare petition in which the Firm is among the counsel the respondent but does not appear on the briefs in the case. In that rare instance, because the Firm is opposing review, no advantage can be created when the petition is listed.
- Because the blog covers every merits case, it will report on merits cases in which the Firm serves as an attorney to a party. But all reporting on those cases shall be done by a person who has complete independence from the publisher and the Firm – i.e., a person other than the blog staff, including Lyle Denniston and Amy Howe, and Firm staff. Moreover, as this January 2016 post explains, this coverage will not contain any assessments or judgments about the relative strengths of the parties’ arguments, which side is likely to prevail, or what the case’s broader impact might be.
The policy of not noting new Supreme Court filings by the lawyers who work on the blog and the clinics with which they are affiliated is long-established and remains in effect.
The blog never seeks to influence the Court's decision making. We are aware that the blog is widely read within the Court, however. So we have adopted policies intended to avoid any appearance of impropriety. The decision whether to highlight any petition in a separate post is made exclusively by Lyle Denniston in his own discretion. As noted, we no longer highlight our own briefs, including our own cert. petitions. The Petitions to Watch feature now never comments on our own cases "“ separately listing them "“ to avoid any possibility that we would favor them, except in the rare case noted above in which we have undertaken a duty of confidentiality to the client.
Corrections and Updates:
On the blog, we note all substantive corrections to content (i.e., everything more severe than typos and minor rephrasings). To do so, we post a bold "CORRECTION" notice at the bottom of the post describing the change. All corrected posts will be linked on our “Corrections” page (under construction), with a description of the changes and the times they were made.
If you find an error, please report it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whenever we materially add to a post, we post an "UPDATE" label at the top of the post, with the time and date of the change.
Every email sent to feedback is reviewed by a SCOTUSblogger. The feedback we have gotten to date has played a critical role in improving the blog, and we try whenever possible to reply to emails. However, given our limited resources, we do not guarantee either responses or that ideas sent to us will be acted on.
Reproduction of Content:
SCOTUSblog holds an “Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives” license from Creative Commons. That means that our content, and the content of our sister site SCOTUSwiki, may be reproduced and redistributed without our permission, but only if it is attributed to SCOTUSblog or SCOTUSwiki and neither used for profit nor modified. If you are uncertain whether your use of blog content is permitted under this license, please contact email@example.com.