"Chief Justice Roberts once said his goal as an oral advocate was to get the Court to ask his side the fewest questions. Presumably, the more questions a side gets from the Justices is an indicator of the weakness of that side’s position. Does that dictum play out in the Roberts Court’s Indian law cases? Note that tribal interests have yet to prevail in the Roberts Court.
The answer appears to be yes.; the one exception being United States v. Tohono O’odham Nation, in which the questions were evenly distributed. The questions were even in last week’s Ramah argument as well, suggesting a close case.
The average number of questions asked of the tribal interests — 399 questions/7 arguments = 57 questions
The average number of questions asked of advocates opposing tribal interests — 288/7 = 41 questions"
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SCT Oral Argument Study: Who Gets the Most Questions, Loses?
(Turtle Talk 4/24)
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