INTRODUCTION Former Supreme Court Justice, Lewis Powell described the federal judiciary and the United States Supreme Court as perhaps "the most important instrument for social, economic, and political change" (Lazarus, 2008). The Constitutional origin of the Court is in Article III, [section]1, of the U.S. Constitution and provides that "the judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish" (A Brief Overview of the Supreme Court, 2008). The jurisdiction of the Court, Article III [section]2 of the U.S. Constitution, extends "to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority" (A Brief Overview of the Supreme Court, 2008). The term of the Court begins on the first Monday in October and runs until the first Monday in October of the following year. In recent years, the caseload of the Court has increased dramatically. While there were only 1,460 cases on the docket in the 1945 term, and 2,313 in 1960, recently there has been more than 10,000 cases on the docket per term (A Brief Overview of the Supreme Court, 2008). The court will only grant plenary review with oral arguments in approximately 100 cases per term with formal written opinions being delivered in 80 to 90 cases (A Brief Overview of the Supreme Court, 2008). In the 2007/2008 term, the court heard oral arguments for 70 cases and returned opinions in 69 of those cases (Ross, 2008).