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Friday, September 07, 2012

In Search of Helpful Legal Scholarship -- Where to Invest Your 2 Cents

Thanks to Dan for this chance to offer a suggestion -- an invitation, really -- to scholars who are interested in bringing scholarship to the attention of more audiences who can make good use of it. The Green Bag has set up a website to gather and present scholars’ recommended reading lists for each case pending before the Supreme Court. The idea had been percolating for a while, and last year’s comments about the uselessness of legal scholarship by Chief Justice John Roberts (and the academy’s interesting responses) provided the impetus to get at least part of it done. Basically, the site -- called “The Helpful Scholarship Project” -- is going to be home to several dozen rolling polls of scholarly opinion about the most useful scholarship relating to the Court’s cases, with new polls starting as review is granted in new cases and old polls ending when cases are decided. It is probably an imperfect idea imperfectly executed, but if it works (with some tinkering) it might do some good for the Court, and the academy. (And if it works really well, we might expand it.) What we need now are participants -- scholarly test drivers -- to (1) give the site useful content in the form of recommended reading for the Court and (2) give the Green Bag feedback on how to make the site more useful and user-friendly. If there is a case before the Court that deals with one of your areas of subject-matter expertise, please consider telling the Justices what legal scholarship they ought to be reading before deciding. Just go to the Helpful Scholarship website and fill out the “Law Professors, Make Your Recommendations” form. For more thoughts on this project, try here and here.

Posted by Ross Davies on September 7, 2012 at 12:12 AM | Permalink


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Advertising useless scholarship will do little more than bring broader attention to its utter pointlessness - which may advance the idea of stopping all this time-wasting.

Of course if law professors were interested in useful legal scholarship they might instead try a bulletin board where judges and the profession could suggest topics that are relevant, useful, not pointless....

Posted by: MacK | Sep 11, 2012 10:38:20 AM

How much Supreme Oracle scholarship is enough?

Posted by: James Maxeiner | Sep 7, 2012 9:54:24 AM

Will there also be a Hurtful Scholarship Project?

Posted by: Marc DeGirolami | Sep 7, 2012 8:32:45 AM

This is a great idea to promote timely research and have it used more broadly.

Posted by: Margaret Ryznar | Sep 7, 2012 2:16:11 AM

Just for the record, although the comment above may have originated from the same IP address I am currently using, that does not in any way indicate it was me.

Posted by: Orin S. Kerr | Sep 7, 2012 1:11:21 AM

Thanks, Ross, this is great!

Posted by: John Glover Roberts | Sep 7, 2012 1:09:18 AM

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