An Unusually Short Long Conference

The Supreme Court released an order list from yesterday’s Long Conference and, in a surprising move, it granted only seven cases. That number is the lowest since I began recording Supreme Court statistics in 2003. Here is the breakdown for recent years:

However, the Court may have felt less pressure to grant cases at the long conference because it granted an unexpectedly high number of petitions at the end of June. In its final orders list of the year, the Court granted 13 petitions, a record high during the period I’ve been collecting these statistics. Below, I’ve combined the total for the last June conference and the September conference.

So, in the end, there was no need for alarm. This might be a boon for petitioners with cases coming up because the Court is threatening to fall behind its normal pace for this point in the term. Maybe today’s orders list means the Court will be able to give a pitty grant to some unsuspecting litigants?

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