Your humble blogger will be giving a talk at the University of Michigan Law School (co-sponsored, I understand, by the U-M NALSA and the Michigan Journal of Race & Law) on November 12, 2007 at 12:20 PM in Room 150 of Hutchins Hall.
My talk will be called, “Factbound and Splitless: The Impact of the Certiorari Process on Federal Indian Law.”
Here’s the blurb I gave the students on this talk:
I have reviewed each of the 144 Indian law-related cert petitions filed in the Supreme Court from the 1986 to 1993 Terms. Tribal interests began losing 75 percent of their cases in the Court starting in 1987, a significantly worse win rate than even convicted criminal petitioners. I argue that the critical factors the Court looks for in deciding whether to grant cert — “circuit splits,” cases of national “importance,” and cases that are not “factbound” — create structural (and yet wholly discretionary) barriers to the vindication of tribal interests in Supreme Court adjudication.
If you want to read the documents I’ve read in this study, check out the Digital Archive of the Papers of Harry A. Blackmun. And bring your docket numbers, because that’s how it’s organized.