A pending law review article -- and two of the Supreme Court's recent major decisions -- provide vivid examples that judges (and Supreme Court justices in particular) often use "extrinsic evidence" (materials other than what the lawyers present to them in briefs, trial, or argument) to make judicial rulings. In recent decisions, this material is often found online.
In the Supreme Court's recent ruling mostly striking down Arizona's immigration enforcement law, Justice Antonin Scalia's dissent criticized the Obama administration's recent announcement that it would defer deportations of young people under age 30 who immigrated to the U.S. illegally when they were under the age of 16, are in or have graduated from school or have served in the armed forces, and meet other criteria. This announcement was made ten days before the decision was released, and eight weeks after the case was argued.
And in discussing the new policy, Scalia cites a New York Times article on the administration's announcement, see Arizona v. United States, No. 11–182 (June 25, 2012) (Scalia, J., dissenting), at 20, a memorandum from Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, id., and the President's remarks on the policy. Id. at 21. For the latter two, the dissent cites the websites where these materials are available. read more »