Town Hall Seattle and Third Place Books present Stephen Vladeck for a discussion of his new book, The Shadow Docket: How the Supreme Court Uses Stealth Rulings to Amass Power and Undermine the Republic. Vladeck will be joined in conversation by Lisa Marshall Manheim
An acclaimed legal scholar exposes the Supreme Court’s increasing use of unsigned, unexplained orders to change the law—all behind closed doors
The Supreme Court has always had the authority to issue emergency rulings in exceptional circumstances. But since 2017, the Court has dramatically expanded its use of the behind-the-scenes “shadow docket,” regularly making decisions that affect millions of Americans without public hearings and without explanation, through cryptic late-night rulings that leave lawyers—and citizens—scrambling.
The Court’s conservative majority has used the shadow docket to green-light restrictive voting laws and bans on abortion, and to curtail immigration and COVID vaccine mandates. But Americans of all political stripes should be worried about what the shadow docket portends for the rule of law, argues Supreme Court expert Stephen Vladeck. In this rigorous yet accessible book, he issues an urgent call to bring the Court back into the light.
Stephen Vladeck holds the Charles Alan Wright Chair in Federal Courts at the University of Texas School of Law. His work has been published in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and Slate. He has argued before the Supreme Court and has been CNN’s Supreme Court Analyst since 2013. Vladeck lives in Austin, Texas.
Professor Lisa Manheim writes in the areas of constitutional law, election law, and presidential powers. Her scholarship has been published in the University of Chicago Law Review, the Supreme Court Review, the Vanderbilt Law Review, and other leading academic journals. She is a five-time recipient of the Philip A. Trautman Professor of the Year Award given by the student body.
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