The Volokh Conspiracy

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent

A Requiem For SCOTUSBlog

A slow farewell to a venerable institution.


The first Monday in October brought some deeply disappointing news. Tom Goldstein announced there would be some changes to SCOTUSBlog. Now, there will be a "smaller team running the blog's day-to-day operations." For more than a decade, for every merits case, there would generally be two or three separate posts: a preview before oral argument, a review of oral argument, and an overview of the published decision. These posts would be written by scholars and other subject matter experts. This was an invaluable resource whenever I needed to get up to speed on an case outside my area of expertise. But now, SCOTUSBlog "will no longer have full coverage of every merits case." Instead of this granular approach, the blog will cover "broader themes and threads."

Goldstein also announced that the blog "scaled back our statistical coverage" and "will no longer publish our annual Stat Pack." I already noticed this shortfall last Term. Indeed, in June, I contacted the blog to inquire about when the Stat Pack would be published. I was told that it would not be published. This was my go-to resource to understand trends on the Court. I was gobsmacked. I'm sure I was not alone. (Adam Feldman should start a Substack–I would subscribe.)

There were other noticeable cutbacks. One of my favorite features was Mark Walsh's "View from the Court." Mark would recount the visuals from inside the chamber, including fun interactions that would not be reflected in the transcript or recording. Those posts seem to have stopped. (Mark should start a Substack–I would subscribe.) I also noticed there were fewer symposiums on important cases. That deep coverage seemed to trickle down to a halt. Apparently the SCOTUSBlog podcast was on hiatus, but you all know my policy on podcasts. (You know it was really important for me to listen to this podcast–well, to be precise, I transcribed it, and jumped around to the relevant parts.)

The writing was on the wall for this change. In March 2023, Goldstein retired from Supreme Court advocacy. While SCOTUSblog originally began as something of a marketing vehicle for Goldstein's firm, it over time evolved into a venerable institution. SCOTUSBlog won journalism awards and was essential on handdown days–especially with NFIB v. Sebelius. But I had an inkling that once Goldstein had left the world of Supreme Court advocacy, his interest, and support of the site would diminish. Moreover, for the past few years, Casetext was a sponsor of SCOTUSBlog. (You may have noticed that links to opinions direct to Casetext, rather than to Well, Casetext was acquired by ThomsonReuters, and I suspect that sponsorship may have drawn to a close. As of today, I see nothing on the site about CaseText.

We all took SCOTUSBlog for granted for far too long. Countless authors wrote for free, knowing how influential the site was. But a slow farewell begins. It is the predictable arc of blogs: sites that are updated less are read less and have less impact.

Is there some other institution that could maintain SCOTUSBlog, and bring it back to its former heights? I am hopeful, but doubtful. Far too many people get their SCOTUS news from partisan podcasts and extemporaneous X posts. We are all worse for it.

Thank you SCOTUSBlog for making coverage of the Court that much better.