The Posner/Landes machine rolled into the summer WIP Thursday, as they presented their latest project (also co-authored by Northwestern University's Lee Epstein, who was not present but whom both effusively praised as having compiled every judicial dataset conceivable to humanity): Inferring the Winning Party in the Supreme Court from the Pattern of Questioning at Oral Argument. Court observers such as Linda Greenhouse had long suspected there was an important relationship between the number of questions asked and the ultimate outcome of the case, but nobody had done the empirical work to figure out exactly what it was. Posner, Landes & Epstein looked at the effect the raw quantity of questions (and total words in questions) had on the probability a given side would win their case before the Court s using data tabulated from all arguments for all cases decided in the 1979 to 2007 period . They found a consistent correlation: Whether measured by total questions asked or total words in questions, more is less. The more queries a given side received by the justices, the less likely they were to emerge victorious. For example, petitioners win about 62 percent of the cases before the court but if the petitioner is asked fewer questions than the respondent, that probability increases to 71 percent. On the other hand, if the petitioner is asked more questions than the respondent, the probability that the respondent will win increases from 38 to 50 percent.