The Supreme Court Bar: Legal Elites in the Washington Community

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University of Virginia Press, 1993 - Law - 254 pages
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Who represents litigants in the Supreme Court of the United States? Kevin T. McGuire shows that the most sophisticated of them have the advantage of representation by an elite counsel made up of former clerks to the justices, alumni of the Office of the Solicitor General, partners in powerful Washington law firms, and public interest lawyers, all of whom serve as gatekeepers to the Court.

In this study, the first to characterize the bar of the Supreme Court as a whole, McGuire uses survey, archival, and interview data to explore the history and social structure of the community of Supreme Court specialists. In so doing, he assesses the strategic politics of Supreme Court practice, the ways in which dominant litigators can shape the Court's decisions, and what the existence of such an elite implies for judicial fairness.

 

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Contents

The Supreme Court Lawyer in Historical Perspective
12
An Elite Set of Litigators
28
Tables
31
Law Practice and Supreme Court
47
Activating the Elite
78
stage of initial involvement
83
The Inner Circle at Work
107
The Washington Community and the Structure of
128
The Political Impact of the Inner Circle
171
Conclusions and Reflections
200
Additional Information on Figures and Tables
207
Survey Instrument
216
Notes
225
Bibliography
237
Index
247
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About the author (1993)

Kevin T. McGuire is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Minnesota.

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