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Welcome to Supreme Court Brief. Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement provides a boon in clerk power to the sitting justices who inherit the clerks he had hired for the October 2018 term. Is the record number of law clerks in the new term good or bad? Two political scientists who have written about the court’s clerks offer some thoughts. Plus: A new website devoted to empirical research into the court’s oral arguments shines light on which justices are the most polite. Can you guess who they are? And we give an update on the court’s appointment of a new special master in the ongoing Florida v. Georgia water battle. Thanks for reading, and we welcome comments at tonymauro@alm.com and mcoyle@alm.com.

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Tony Mauro

Tony Mauro, based in Washington, covers the U.S. Supreme Court. A lead writer for ALM's Supreme Court Brief, Tony focuses on the court's history and traditions, appellate advocacy and the SCOTUS cases that matter most to business litigators. Contact him at tmauro@alm.com. On Twitter: @Tonymauro

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Marcia Coyle

Marcia Coyle, based in Washington, covers the U.S. Supreme Court. Contact her at mcoyle@alm.com. On Twitter: @MarciaCoyle

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