As in all big Supreme Court cases these days, there were scores of supporting briefs filed in Wednesday’s showdown over a restrictive Texas abortion law.
These friend-of-the-court filings — lawyers call them “amicus curiae briefs” — were diverse, but they were not random. They were the product of a coordinated campaign of judicial lobbying called “the amicus machine,” according to a new study based on interviews with more than 20 leading Supreme Court lawyers.
The teams preparing for major Supreme Court cases must now include two new members, the study said: the amicus wrangler and the amicus whisperer.
“The wrangler is gathering the troops,” said Allison Orr Larsen, a professor at William and Mary Law School and one of the study’s authors, “and the whisperer is coordinating the message.”
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