Oh how I love this nerdy app. Here is why. I am standing in a very long line at one of my local big-box stores. I am bored. This will be a 20 minute wait, easy. I pull out my phone, open Oyez, and randomly select a court case.
Today’s randomly selected case is Department of Homeland Security v. MacLean. Court Term, 2014. The blurb reads, “A case in which the Court ruled that the Whistleblower Protection Act bars an agency from taking enforcement action against employees who intentionally disclose sensitive security information.”
So I click on the blurb and I have options. I can listen to the oral argument that took place on November 4, 2014. I can also listen to the opinion announcement on January 12, 2015. I can read a syllabus of the opinion. I can also read the Opinion of the Court (written by Chief Justice Roberts) and/or the Dissenting Opinion (written by Justice Sotomayor).
Now, in addition to all this information, there is a whole history of how the case wended its way to the Supreme Court. You can choose not to click on anything I just mention and keep scrolling and get to a header that read, “Facts of the case.” This is the part I tend to read and after I do then I go down to the Conclusion section where there is a little row of pictures of the Justices. The graphic shows who voted how and there’s this funny option where you can sort the Justices either by seniority or ideology. When you click it, the little robbed figures shift around. Makes me laugh every time.
So, in the time it took me to wait in line at big box store, I learned about a Supreme Court Case. The people who made the app have a webpage and it is fun, too. And, for an excellent introduction to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) there is the SCOTUSblog. And the SCOTUSblog has videos and I have watched a lot of them.