UVA Law Faculty Lead in U.S. Supreme Court Citations

Professors’ Articles Cited 13 Times Over Two Years, With Caleb Nelson Leading All Authors
Supreme Court

UVA Law faculty were cited by the U.S. Supreme Court 13 times over the past two terms.

November 1, 2018

The U.S. Supreme Court cited professors at the University of Virginia School of Law more than any other school’s faculty in the past two terms, according to a new study of academic journal citations.

Justices cited UVA Law professors’ scholarly work 13 times, according to Empirical SCOTUS. Professor Caleb Nelson led all authors with six citations, while Professor Saikrishna Prakash was cited four times.

Nelson was also one of only two authors with multiple citations in the same case, and one of two authors with multiple citations in multiple cases: Ortiz v. U.S. and Sessions v. Dimaya, concerning original jurisdiction and criminal procedure, respectively.

Justice Clarence Thomas cited professors from Virginia and Harvard more frequently than those from other schools, while Justice Samuel Alito Jr. cited UVA Law professors most often.

Professors Aditya Bamzai, John Harrison and Ann Woolhandler were also cited in the past two terms.

The Virginia Law Review tied for No. 6 in citations among law journals, with 10. Among his colleagues, Justice Stephen Breyer cited the Virginia Law Review the most, and more than any other journal, with four mentions. The Harvard Law Review was the most cited.

Nelson is the Emerson G. Spies Distinguished Professor of Law and Caddell and Chapman Professor of Law. A past winner of UVA’s All-University Teaching Award, he teaches civil procedure, federal courts and statutory interpretation. Nelson is also the author of a casebook on statutory interpretation and an elected member of the American Law Institute. He clerked for Thomas.

Prakash is the James Monroe Distinguished Professor of Law and Paul G. Mahoney Research Professor of Law. His scholarship focuses on separation of powers, particularly executive powers, and he is the author of the book “Imperial from the Beginning: The Constitution of the Original Executive.” Prakash also clerked for Thomas.

UVA Law faculty have been recognized before for their influence on the judiciary. In a study of U.S. Supreme Court, federal appeals court and state high court decisions from 2005-14, the school ranked No. 3 in the number of professors among the top 100 faculty in the country cited.

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