State of the Docket

The Supreme Court handed down three more opinions this morning, including one which explicitly overruled a generation-old precedent set in Michigan v. Jackson. I’ve uploded a new version of the Term voting chart here.

With 53 opinions handed down and 75 opinion expected, the Court has now handed down an opinion in 70% of the cases it will decide this year. Cases have taken an average of 102 days to be decided. The oldest case outstanding is Melenez-Diaz v. Massachusetts, which was argued November 10. The opinion in that case will likely be written by Justice Kennedy.

Oddly enough, Justice Kennedy has also been seriously delinquent on his opinions. He has released only three majority opinions, two of which came in controversial 5-4 opinions. By contrast, Justice Scalia has already released eight opinions, three of which came from the January sitting.

This year, with only 22 opinions to be released in the last month, the Court is ahead of the the pace it had set in the last few years. Last year, the Court had only released 40 opinions going into June and released 28 within the last month.

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