Brigham Young University Prelaw Review


Shadow Docket, Emergency Orders, Supreme Court, Specialized Courts, Legitimacy, American Judicial System


In light of recent emergency decisions made by the Court ranging from issues addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, religious freedom, abortion rights, and polarized redistricting plans, the Supreme Courts use of the shadow docket has come under renewed scrutiny. This paper argues that the Court's use of the shadow docket, while permissible in the past, is threatening the legitimacy of the Supreme Court and unduly burdening the American Judicial System at large. Due to these effects, this paper advocates to reduce the Supreme Court's use of the shadow docket through the creation of a new specialized court system to handle emergency order applications.