Good things are happening! Conservative litigants may soon find it more difficult to handpick their judges. Also, Oregon could change Apple’s global business model, college basketball players vote to unionize, solar energy hits its biggest milestone since World War II, and dozens of rejected anti-LGBTQ bills may signal shifting political tides.

An End To The Judge Shopping Spree

Corporations and conservative activists looking for a leg up in court may soon be out of luck. On March 12, the federal judiciary’s policymaking body adopted a new policy to promote random judge assignment — and close a loophole that allows lawyers, interest groups, and states to select amenable judges to oversee their cases. 

Such tactics have been repeatedly used by conservatives in recent years to knock a key abortion drug off the market, challenge the Biden administration’s immigration policies, and whittle away gun-safety regulations, among other issues. These cases have all been filed in federal judicial divisions where they are more likely to be assigned to conservative judges, especially in conservative-leaning courts like the Northern District of Texas, where some courts only have a single sitting judge — meaning litigants know exactly who will be considering their case. When activists can choose to file their case with a judge they know would be friendly to their opinions, that greatly increases the likelihood of a favorable outcome.