DISCO creates cutting-edge software for the legal industry, which means that most of my blog posts end up discussing the finer points of software's role in ediscovery. However, as DISCO was founded by lawyers, and many of us at DISCO are still lawyers first and foremost, it seems appropriate to talk about a topic currently trending near the top of the public’s perception of the legal world: an evenly split Supreme Court.With the unexpected death of Justice Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court has naturally received a significant increase in media attention. In particular, there is concern about the possibility of a dysfunctional Court: what happens when major issues can’t be decided because of a tie? This agitation, at least superficially, seems well-founded since the Court has recently deadlocked on two cases: Friedrichs v. California Teachers Assn. , 578 U.S. ___ (2016) and Hawkins v. Community Bank , 577 U.S. ___ (2016).
Relax, though. All is not lost. In fact, I suggest that having a vacant seat provides some much-needed breathing room and an opportunity to determine whether the Court should even be deciding certain contentious cases. More specifically, some cases may involve political questions (as defined by the political question doctrine) more correctly addressed by other branches of the government.