The Supreme Court's Shadow Docket : Throughline Roe. Brown. Obergefell. Dobbs. These Supreme Court decisions are the ones that make headlines, and eventually history books. But today, the vast majority of the Court's work actually happens out of the public eye, on what's become known as the shadow docket. The story of that transformation spans more than a century, and doesn't fall neatly along partisan lines. Today on the show: how the so-called court of last resort has gained more and more power over American policy, and why the debates we don't see are often more important than the ones we do.

The Supreme Court's Shadow Docket

The Supreme Court's Shadow Docket

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
The Supreme Court building.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Roe. Brown. Obergefell. Dobbs. These Supreme Court decisions are the ones that make headlines, and eventually history books. But today, the vast majority of the Court's work actually happens out of the public eye, on what's become known as the shadow docket. The story of that transformation spans more than a century, and doesn't fall neatly along partisan lines. Today on the show: how the so-called court of last resort has gained more and more power over American policy, and why the debates we don't see are often more important than the ones we do.


Guest featured in this episode:

  • Steve Vladeck, author of "The Shadow Docket: How the Supreme Court Uses Stealth Rulings to Amass Power and Undermine the Republic" and professor of law at the University of Texas at Austin.