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Who’s the best justice of all time? SCOTUSblog lets readers choose with March Madness brackets

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U.S. Supreme Court

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SCOTUSblog is letting readers vote on the best U.S. Supreme Court justice of all time by way of its “SCOTUS bracketology,” a March Madness-style set of matches, that begins with a “Supreme 16.”

Among the initial justice matchups are Justices Sandra Day O’Connor vs. John Marshall, Ruth Bader Ginsburg vs. William Brennan, Thurgood Marshall vs. Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy vs. Earl Warren, and Felix Frankfurter vs. Oliver Wendell Holmes.

As of Friday, leaders in these matchups had been John Marshall, Ginsburg, Thurgood Marshall, Warren and Holmes.

All 9 present justices are excluded from the set of matches. SCOTUSblog created the brackets by starting with about three dozen former justices with believable claims to being greatest.

Then the weblog selected the 16 contenders based mostly on size of court docket tenure, variety of opinions broadly seen as landmark choices, variety of opinions outlined as “precedent-altering” on a legislation faculty database, and presence on different “greatest” lists. Trailblazing justices whose impression wasn’t restricted to formal rulings acquired a lift.

The weblog famous that the checklist is particularly subjective.

“Some in the tournament are seen as legendary primarily for writing opinions that have stood the test of time,” the weblog stated. “Others were politically savvy figures, shaping the court as an institution and guiding how it exerts its power. Still others in the field overcame discrimination and forever changed the very notion of who could sit on the nation’s highest court.”

Readers have till March 21 to solid their votes within the first spherical.

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