A recent draft article about Justice Kennedy's influence and legacy sparked a social media discussion about which justices attract the most academic attention.
I looked at the Westlaw database and searched for "ti(justice /2 [lastname])." The "ti()" field is slightly broader than just looking at the title of the article alone, but for this purpose it captured almost exclusively articles with a justice's name in the title. I didn't distinguish between Chief Justice Rehnquist's time as an Associate Justice (with that title), but I added a "chief" to my Roberts search to separate out hits for Justice Owen Roberts (there was at least one...). This search also would typically remove results for "the Rehnquist Court" or "the Roberts Court," which are less about the chief justices in particular, but it may slightly undercapture articles about those two justices. UPDATE: This methodology somewhat undercaptures references to justices that are more colloquial (e.g., use just the last name without the title "justice") or include the justice's name as an author without a title in a book review, but it eliminates far more false positives for most other justices who have more common names than "Scalia," "Alito," and "Sotomayor."
I imagine there might also a logarithmic effect one might observe--or expect to observe--over the course of a justice's career. As a justice begins, few, if any, articles will be written about her; as her influence increases over time, we would expect to see more articles each year than the previous year. (There may also be separate bursts of scholarship around a justice's retirement and around a justice's death.) This metric is static and treats each year as the same--perhaps someone would spend more time analyzing year-by-year impact! Additionally, the increase in the volume of journals, particularly online journals available on Westlaw, may skew results for justices with more recent histories.
I narrowed my search to the "Law Reviews & Journals" database, which is broad enough to include some practitioners' publications and the ABA Journal but should work for a rough examination of justices. I then developed a charge, "Law Journal Article Title Mentions Per Year," with the denominator the years since that justice first joined the Supreme Court. I selected all of the most recent 13 justices (excluding Justice Gorsuch) to have served on the Court.
UPDATE: I transposed the dates for Justices Sotomayor and Kagan in an earlier version, and their data changed slightly.
I then added in Justice Gorsuch and looked simply at the raw citation totals, regardless of years' services.
I'll leave it to others to discern what these figures might mean, if anything. I'll note that Justice Scalia dwarfs all others, which was not surprising, but a few other results did mildly surprise me. A few pieces about Justice Gorsuch were apparently written in his days as a prospective, or actual, nominee, then converted into pieces with a title about what "Justice Gorsuch," rather than "Judge Gorsuch," has written or said in the past--one reason his number is at 5 after one years' service, to Justice Kagan's 4.
UPDATE: Dave Hoffman rightly points out that there are likely tens of thousands of law journal articles published every single year. Due to the search function in Westlaw, I could not even limit a search of articles mentioning "law" in a given year, because results cannot exceeds 10,000 hits, and I can't narrow the search database to Law Reviews & Journals in WestlawNext. Articles about a Supreme Court justice, then, are a tiny slice of all scholarship. UPDATE: And, of course, this is only a very crude metric that is assuredly overinclusive and underinclusive. But, the relative relationships between justices should be modestly illuminating.