The Supreme Court – October 1957 Term

One of the fascinating new games being played by some law professors and others,” declared an American Bar Association Journal editorial almost a decade ago, “is to compute the ‘box scores’ of the votes of justices of the Supreme Court in various important lines of cases.”‘ The present article is not intended as an addition to the work of those engaged in this sort of “numbers game.” However useful the statistical method may be in providing the empirical data upon which legal analysis can be based, it should be almost self-evident that its value as the key to the working of the highest Court must be limited. The fallacy in this method lies in its single valued criterion of judgment. The Supreme Court and its members can be judged intelligently only from a many-sided viewpoint-not solely from the standpoint of “for” or “against.”