I am interested in finding the brief of the petitioner in the US Supreme Court case "Robert J. Jaffe, Petitioner v. John G. Roberts, Jr., Chief Justice, Supreme Court of the United States, et al."

The case number is 16-1181. Here is the Supreme Court online docket for the case

Where can I find the petitioner's brief?

Moreover, I am also unable to find the petition and the opinion of the lower court (United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit). I surfed the Ninth Circuit website and searched for the case num. 15-56328 (number taken from the above mentioned SCOTUS online docket), but no results were found.

  • This is a strange-looking case because 8 of the 9 justices were apparently disqualified from considering it. Commented Jun 1, 2017 at 16:01
  • You might have to make a PACER account to see the record from the lower court. Commented Jun 1, 2017 at 16:05
  • I thought the petitions and the opinions were public. At least on the SCOTUS blog I don't have to pay to view the petitions and the opinions, including friends of the court's briefs Commented Jun 1, 2017 at 16:14
  • I presume that SCOTUS Blog gets those documents from PACER and reposts them for free (no rule against that), but only for cases that they think are of particular interest. I also found supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/briefsource.aspx giving some other possible sources for briefs. Commented Jun 1, 2017 at 16:57
  • 2
    @Nate: the suit named as defendants all nine Supreme Court Justices who were then on the bench, including Scalia; so the eight surviving justices were all disqualified. 28 USC § 1 requires at least six justices to hear a case; and with everyone but Gorsuch disqualified, they had a ready-made basis for dismissal. BTW, unfortunately, the Supreme Court's not on PACER, so the documents aren't available there. I presume SCOTUSBlog gets them the old fashioned way, buy having someone get a copy from the court in person.
    – codingatty
    Commented Jun 1, 2017 at 22:07

2 Answers 2


There is no opinion from the Ninth Circuit. I just checked PACER, and there is a docketed order dated May 18, 2016:

Filed order (STEPHEN REINHARDT, MARY H. MURGUIA and JOHN B. OWENS) We have reviewed appellant’s opening brief, appellees’ motion for summary affirmance and appellant’s opposition thereto. We conclude that the questions raised in this appeal are so insubstantial as not to require further argument. Accordingly, we grant appellee’s motion for summary affirmance. See United States v. Hooton, 693 F.2d 857 (9th Cir.1982) (per curiam) (summary affirmance appropriate where the result is clear from the face of record); see Mullis v. United States Bankr. Court for Dist. of Nevada, 828 F.2d 1385, 1388, 1394 (9th Cir. 1987) (judges are immune from civil liability for damages and for declaratory relief for their judicial acts). AFFIRMED. [9981929] (WL) [Entered: 05/18/2016 02:48 PM]

I downloaded Jaffe's Ninth Circuit brief and it's a pretty dull work of a crank. I use the RECAP Mozilla add-on, so the Ninth Circuit docket and brief should show up on RECAP soon. Go to https://www.courtlistener.com/ and in "Advanced Search", search on docket no. 15-56328. Based on past experience it should show up in a day or two.

But that's the Ninth Circuit brief, not the SCOTUS one you're looking for; unfortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court is the one US court that is not searchable via PACER. You're limited to the docket, opinions and orders that the Court publishes on its site. For more legitimate cases, briefs can often be found on either SCOTUSBlog or the ABA's briefs page, but not in this case.


If there is still interest in this case, Judge Wilson's analysis in this Chambers Order in the antecedent case of Jaffe v Pregerson et al. may provide the rationale sought. And here is the Appellant's Opening Brief in Jaffe v Roberts et al. 15-56328.

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