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Shadow Docket | CMBA CLE Catalog

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Shadow Docket

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Date Published

April 13, 2021


Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association


United States Supreme Court


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Over the past few years, the Supreme Court has dramatically altered the way it decides most cases—without acknowledging or justifying this radical shift. More and more often, the justices forgo the usual appeals procedure in favor of rushed decision-making behind closed doors in what’s known as “the shadow docket.” They issue late-night opinions on the merits of a case without hearing arguments or receiving full briefing, and often refuse to reveal who authored the opinion, or even how each justice voted. The public is then left to guess why or how the law has changed and what reasoning the court has embraced. These emergency orders are supposed to be a rare exception; today, however, the court regularly uses them to make law in hugely controversial cases, including disputes over the border wall, COVID-19 restrictions, and executions.

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Mark Joseph Stern
Staff Writer - Slate Magazine

Mark Joseph Stern covers courts and the law for Slate Magazine

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Program Titles and Supporting Materials

This program contains the following components:

Video Presentation
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If applicable, you may obtain credit in multiple jurisdictions simultaneously for this program (see pending/approved list below). If electing credit for this program, registrants in jurisdictions not listed below will receive a Certificate of Completion that may or may not meet credit requirements in other jurisdictions. Where applicable, credit will be only awarded to a paid registrant completing all the requirements of the program as determined by the selected accreditation authority.

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How to Attend

Join the self-paced program from your office, home, or hotel room using a computer and high speed internet connection. You may start and stop the program at your convenience, continue where you left off, and review supporting materials as often as you like. Please note: Internet Explorer is no longer a supported browser. We recommend using Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Safari for best results.

Technical Requirements
You may access this course on a computer or mobile device with high speed internet (iPhones require iOS 10 or higher). Recommended browsers are Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

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