During the 1981 term, 231 amicus curiae briefs were filed with the Supreme Court by parties other than the governing parties. O`Connor & Epstein, Court Rules and Workload: A Case Study of Rules Governing Amicus Curiae Participation, 8 Just. J. 35, 40-41 (1983). The numbers were about the same over the previous five mandates. Amicus curiae briefs are now filed in two-thirds of the civil cases heard by the Supreme Court each year, and multiple filings are common. O`Connor & Epstein, Amicus Curiae Participation in U.S. Supreme Court Litigation: An Appraisal of Hackman`s “Folklore,” 16 Law & Soc`y Review 311, 317 (1982). In re Marriage Cases (2008) [California Supreme Court/Filed Brief 9/07] — Whether the ban on same-sex marriage discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation, rather than imposing different burdens on homosexual people alone. Full text of amicus curiae brief (PDF, 360KB) Bostic v. Shaefer (2014) [United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit/Filed Brief 4/14] – This is the constitutional challenge to Virginia`s refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Brief description of amicus curiae in full text (PDF, 154KB) Sell v.
U.S. , 539 U.S. 166 (2003) [U.S. Supreme Court/Brief filed 12/19/02] — This case deals with the question of whether a criminal defendant should be treated against his will with medication in order to restore him or her jurisdiction so that he or she can stand trial. Full text of amicus curiae brief (PDF, 2.1MB) Hedlund v. Orange County Superior Court (1983) [California Supreme Court/Letter filed 10/83] — Whether a “foreseeable” bystander, closely related to the victim of a patient attack, can bring an action against the patient`s psychotherapist for emotional harm due to failure to warn. Full text of amicus curiae brief (PDF, 112KB) Bucy v. Bucy (1990) [Connecticut Court of Appeals/Memorandum Filed: 2/90] — Do psychotherapy expenses for the treatment of eating disorders constitute “medical expenses” within the meaning of a separation and support order? Full text Amicus Curiae Brief (PDF, 199KB) 11.
Objectivity. While the amicus curiae letter strongly supports one side of the controversy, it will only be effective if it gives the impression of carefully examining, understanding, and analyzing the interests and claims of both sides. Most cases before the Supreme Court are narrow, often with a vote of five to four or six to three, or even a plurality of opinions. An amicus curiae brief that weighs non-conflicting interests will not assist the Court in a narrow case. Hudgins v. Moore (1999) [South Carolina Supreme Court / Oral arguments filed 2/98 and 2/99] — Could the prosecution use MMPI-A raw test equipment administered to determine the defendant`s fitness to stand trial to argue in court that the defendant had admitted to being a liar. Full text of the amicus curiae brief (PDF, 195KB) Fortunately, those who commit to writing an amicus curiae letter to the Supreme Court now benefit from the good advice of Robert L. Stern, who has written two books on the subject. See R.
Stern, Appellate Practice in the United States, chap. 7 (1981). See also R. Stern & E. Gressman, Supreme Court Practice, c. 13 (1978). I would just like to make a few additional suggestions. Most of these proposals reflect the practice of the Attorney General, who is probably the most frequent and successful mexister briefer to the Supreme Court.
Dassey v. Dittman (Motion for certiorari not accepted) [United States Supreme Court/Filed Brief 3/18] – Whether the confession of a minor with significant intellectual and social limitations was voluntary and, if so, whether the confession was involuntary when reviewed. Full text of amicus curiae brief (PDF, 496KB) Hertzler v. Hertzler (1995) [Wyoming Supreme Court / Filed Brief 12/94] — Whether the “best interests of the child” are served if access rights are minimized because of the mother`s sexual orientation as a lesbian. Full text of the amicus curiae brief (PDF, 317KB) The Court has repeatedly held that the starting point for the interpretation of a federal statute must be the literal wording of the statute itself. For example, Ernst & Ernst v. Hochfelder, 425 U.S. 185, 197 (1976). Second, the amicus curiae letter should include arguments based on the legal system to the extent that the structure sheds light on the issues. Next, it is necessary to examine the genesis. Do not omit this step, since the Court itself relies on legislative history in many decisions.
Unfortunately, many pleadings filed by the parties do not analyze the legislative history. An amicus curiae briefing can play a valuable role in filling this gap. Finally, the mandate should analyse issues relating to legal policy and general public order. Rone v. Fireman (1979) [USA] District Ct., Northern District, Eastern Div./Brief filed 1//78] — Was the State required to treat persons housed in public psychiatric hospitals in the least restrictive environment?.