“Low-income earners 30 percent less likely to have cases heard by U.S. Supreme Court” — during the October 1992 Term, that is.

August 11th, 2011

This study seems pretty cool, but outdated.

MSU political science/pre-law senior Sydney Hawthorne found paupers — defined as low-income individuals, who often can’t afford legal services such as filing petitions –are 30 percent less likely to have their cases heard.

“My research question was, ‘what influences the Supreme Court’s decision to grant or deny review of a case?’” said Hawthorne, of Grand Blanc. “There are thousands of cases each year that want to get reviewed before the Supreme Court, so how do they beat the odds?” . . .

The student-faculty team analyzed 403 petitions filed from October 1992 to June 1993, coding variables from archival data and personal papers of former Justice Harry Blackmun.

Blackmun? That’s pretty old. From that Court in 1992, only Scalia, Kennedy, and Thomas are left. Not even enough to count to 4!