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Judicial Behavior

The Not-So-Funny Lessons of Laughter at the Court

Tonja Jacobi
Professor Jacobi joined Emory Law in 2022. She specializes in Supreme Court judicial behavior and public law, and her areas of interest include judicial politics, Supreme Court oral arguments, criminal procedure, legislative process, and constitutional law. Combining doctrinal, empirical, and formal analysis, she examines how judges respond to institutional constraints. In particular, she is a renowned expert in Supreme Court oral argument: in a series of empirical studies covering sixty years of arguments, she has identified patterns and prejudices in judicial and advocate behavior and has shown that case outcomes can be predicted based on those behaviors. Supreme Court justices have commented on this work and said it changed the Court. She has published in over fifty peer review and law review journals and regularly writes op-eds in major periodicals such as the New York Times, Bloomberg, and the Washington Post, analyzing Supreme Court behavior and implications of the separation of powers system more generally. She has had a series of periodical articles published in the last year on voting rights, the filibuster, and democratic reform, and has multiple forthcoming law review articles on judicial behavior and criminal procedure that can be made available by the author.

Selected Publications

The Corrosive Effect of Inevitable Discovery on the Fourth Amendment, 171 University of Pennsylvania Law Review (forthcoming 2023) (with Elliot Louthen)

The Law of Disposable Children: Discipline in Schools, 2023 University of Illinois­­ Law Review (forthcoming 2023) (with Riley Clafton)

Searches Without Suspicion: Avoiding a Four Million Person Underclass, 48 Brigham Young University Law Review (forthcoming 2023) (with Addie Maguire)

Comparative Exceptionalism? Strategy and Ideology in the High Court of Australia, 70 American Journal of Comparative Law (forthcoming 2022) (with Zoë Robinson & Patrick Leslie)

The Law of Disposable Children: Searches in Schools, 13 UC Irvine Law Review (forthcoming 2022) (with Riley Clafton)

Oral Argument in the Time of COVID: The Chief Plays Calvinball, 30 Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal 399 (2021) (with Timothy Johnson, Eve Rinsgmuth & Matthew Sag)

Querying the Gender Dynamics of Interruptions at Australian Oral Argument, 4 University of New South Wales Law Journal Forum 1 (2020) (with Zoë Robinson & Patrick Leslie)

The New Oral Argument: Justices as Advocates, 94 Notre Dame Law Review 1161 (2019) (with Matthew Sag)

Judicial Conflicts and Voting Agreement: Evidence from Interruptions at Oral Argument, 59 Boston College Law Review 2259 (2018) (with Kyle Rozema)

Justice, Interrupted: The Effect of Gender, Ideology, and Seniority at Supreme Court Oral Arguments, 103 Virginia Law Review 1379 (2017) (with Dylan Schweers)