This Article offers a simple solution for reducing the overload of questions at oral argument. Justices, individually or collectively, could pose written questions on facts and law to the litigants' counsel before oral argument and expect written responses. The submitted questions might inquire about the facts of the case, about the litigant's interpretation of the relevant law, about the response that the litigant would make to a hypothetical scenario, or about the precise holding that the litigant wishes the Court to propound. The responses should allow for more thought-out answers than oral argument can produce and might both reduce the number of questions that the Justices ask during oral argument and improve the quality of the answers. The Article places this proposal in historical context by examining how Supreme Court rules on presenting argument have developed--shifting the emphasis from oral argument to written argument. After explaining the value of oral argument and the ways in which courts have tried to deal with the brevity of oral arguments, the Article illustrates the value of the proposal by closely analyzing the oral argument in Kelo v. City of New London.
Louis J. Sirico Jr.
A Proposal for Improving Argument Before the United States Supreme Court,
42 Pepp. L. Rev.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/plr/vol42/iss2/1