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"The Shadow Docket: How the Supreme Court Uses Stealth Rulings to Amass Power and Undermine the Republic" (zsp)

  • Tue, December 05, 2023
  • 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Virtual
  • 235


Registration is closed

The Supreme Court has received a lot of attention in the last several years for its extreme rulings on matters such as abortion rights, environmental regulations, and affirmative action. But there’s another very important court procedure that doesn’t receive nearly as much attention: the aptly named “shadow docket.”

These are the cases that occur outside of the court’s regular docket and usually involve urgent matters, such as requests for emergency stays, injunctions, and other types of temporary relief. These cases are often decided through brief orders, meaning without oral arguments, full written opinions, or even disclosing how the justices voted. In recent years, the court has increasingly used the shadow docket to effectively make major decisions, sometimes with devastating effects.

Stephen will talk about the shadow docket’s history, how it continues to undermine the Supreme Court’s credibility, and how most of these decisions are not based on any kind of legal rationale or precedent.

Stephen I. Vladeck holds the Charles Allan Wright Chair in Federal Courts at the University of Texas School of Law and is a nationally recognized expert on the federal courts, constitutional law, national security law, and military justice.  He is the author of 

The Shadow Docket: How the Supreme Court Uses Stealth Rulings to Amass Power and Undermine the Republic (Hachette Book Group, 2023)  as well as several law casebooks.  He is a Supreme Court analyst for CNN and edits the weekly newsletter One First bout the court.  Vladeck is the co-host, together with Bobby Chesney, of the National Security Law Podcast.

This webinar is hosted by the Retirement Opportunities Committee.  

If you have preliminary questions for the speaker, please email them in advance to program coordinators Tom Eggert at and Michael Bernard-Donals at by Wednesday, November 29.

Food Pantry Contributions:

Checks payable to UW-Foundation, with "Open Seat" on the memo line may be mailed to UWRA, 21 North Park Street, Room 7205, Madison, WI 53715-1218.

Registration Deadline:  Friday, December 1, 2023


Advance registration is required.  You are encouraged to register online.  To register by phone or email, call the Association office. If you or your guest registered for this seminar but cannot attend, please cancel your registration online, or email/call the UWRA office.

NOTE:  The weblink and virtual call information will be included in the meeting reminders registrants receive.

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