OT 2010 Term Index

By now, you should know the drill. I’ve completed the first version of the OT10 term index. I’ve posted several in the past (OT08, OT09) and this chart doesn’t change that winning (joke) formula.

Enjoy!

Docket pages for each case at the Supreme Court list when a case is distributed for a given conference and, therefore, up for consideration. Nonetheless, at least one justice still has to mark a case up for debate or certiorari is automatically denied.

Typically a case is either granted or denied at a given conference. Sometimes, however, the court will repeatedly re-distribute a case to several conferences before either granting or denying cert. For example, in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, the Court assigned the case to six subsequent conferences before requesting the record from the lower court and granting the case at it’s next conference, the case’s seventh conference.

I’ve compiled is a list of the number of uninturrupted distributions for a given case during OT10. For example, I would count the following case as having only two uninterrupted distribution:

Jan 1 2010 DISTRIBUTED for Jan 5 2010 conference
Jan 6 2010 Views of SG requested
Apr 7 2010 Views of SG received
May 8 2010 DISTRIBUTED for May 11 2010 conference
May 15 2010 DISTRIBUTED for May 18 2010 conference
May 18 2010 petition GRANTED

Here are the totals for OT10:

# Conferences Count
1 53
2 16
3 7
4 3
5 1
Total 80

The only summary reversal for OT10 thus far, Wilson v. Corcoran, was distributed 4 times.

Four days ago, I posted a list of the advocates who have argued twice during a single month since 2003. Well, that chart is already outdated- next month, David Frederick will join that club. Congrats!

Ann O’Connell, the GWU law grad and ’05 Rehnquist clerk who recently joined the OSG, will argue her first case before the Supreme Court. You can find the hearing list here.

October Term 2003 Michael Dreeben (December)
Thomas Goldstein (April)
October Term 2004 Seth Waxman (January)
Paul Clement (February)*
Paul Clement (March)
October Term 2005
October Term 2006 Paul Clement (November)*
Paul Clement (December)*
Michael Dreeben (February)*
October Term 2007 Michael Dreeben (October)*
Malcolm Stewart (November)
Carter Phillips (November)
October Term 2008 Gregory Coleman (April)
October Term 2009 Gregory Garre (April)
October Term 2010 Carter Phillips (December)
David Frederick (January)

* These advocates argued related cases, but each was marked for an hour of separate arguments. Ex. Paul Clement argued back-to-back in Van Orden v. Perry and McCreary County v. ACLU of Kentucky on March 2, 2005.

Stats come from the Journal of the Supreme Court.

In honor of Carter Phillips arguing twice during the December sitting of the Court, I’ve compiled a list of every instance of this phenomenon since October 2003. If an advocate argued in two separate, but related cases (on the same day), I have still included them in the list. Those instances have been marked with an asterisk.

October Term 2003 Michael Dreeben (December)
Thomas Goldstein (April)
October Term 2004 Seth Waxman (January)
Paul Clement (February)*
Paul Clement (March)
October Term 2005
October Term 2006 Paul Clement (November)*
Paul Clement (December)*
Michael Dreeben (February)*
October Term 2007 Michael Dreeben (October)*
Malcolm Stewart (November)
Carter Phillips (November)
October Term 2008 Gregory Coleman (April)
October Term 2009 Gregory Garre (April)
October Term 2010 Carter Phillips (December)

Over the past few days, I’ve been gathering information from old editions of the Journal of the Supreme Court (not to be confused with the Journal of the Supreme Court History). On page 252 of the journal for OT 1969, the Court recorded the following comments noting Justice Hugo Black’s 84th birthday:

This is certainly an unusual entry. Justice Black didn’t retire until almost 18 months later so I really have no idea why Justice Burger made this announcement on the day before his 84th birthday. Does anyone know more about this story?

I’ve posted a PDF of the Court’s average age at the beginning of every term from 1800-present. The ages were taken on the first Monday in October of each year and the date of birth data comes from the fabulous Supreme Court Compendium data set.

As we wait for the first opinion of the term, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the first signed opinion released in recent years. Who will write it this year? When will it be released? Hard to say, but here are the numbers!

Term Author Date
OT99 Breyer November 30
OT00 Scalia November 7
OT01 O’Connor November 13
OT02 Rehnquist
O’Connor
November 5
OT03 Scalia November 12
OT04 Rehnquist
O’Connor
November 9
OT05 Stevens
Breyer
November 8
OT06 Kennedy November 13
OT07 Roberts December 4
OT08 Roberts November 12
OT09 Roberts
Ginsburg
Breyer
Sotomayor
December 8

Using the still-fabulous Supreme Court Compendium data set, I’ve thrown together a chart plotting the ages of each Justice at retirement. I didn’t have to make many judgment calls and the data really speaks for itself. You can click on the image for a larger view. Enjoy!

Using the fabulous data provided by Lee Epstein as part of the updated Supreme Court Compendium data, I was able to plot the age of Supreme Court nominees at nomination. As it turns out, the ages were pretty varied and there was only a weak trend over the past 220 years. Click on the image for a bigger view of the chart.

You can get a pdf of the chart below:



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