Pratik Shah Quoted in The New York Times on Supreme Court’s Consensus-Building Term

The New York Times has quoted Pratik Shah, co-head of Akin Gump’s Supreme Court and appellate practice, in the article “A Cautious Supreme Court Sets a Modern Record for Consensus.” The article reports on the justices’ efforts to avoid 4-4 decisions during the term that just ended, given the vacancy on the Court caused by the February 2016 death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

The term beginning next fall, however, will be very different, as the article notes, with several controversial cases already on the docket. “Chalk it up to pent-up demand,” said Shah, a former assistant to the solicitor general. “The eight-member court dodged the most provocative or consequential cases, and the new nine-member court is making up for lost time.”

The article further notes that, while the past term saw the Court leaning somewhat to the left in cases concerning race, it continued to lean right in business cases. “The Court added to its recent track record as a business-friendly forum, particularly on the class-action and arbitration front,” Shah said. “And class plaintiffs may have even more at stake next term,” referring to three cases in which the Court will decide whether employees may team up in legal actions to address workplace issues.