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 [...]

Traitors to the Cause

6-3 decisions are, statistically speaking, the least common vote split. Frequently, those cases split along the ideological lines that are so familiar from 5-4 decisions, except one Justice breaks rank from their ideological compatriots in dissent and joins the dark side – the majority opinion. Going down with the ship is a classic sign of [...]

The Court’s hearing list for this month completes the list of attorneys who will argue before the Supreme Court during October Term 2010. I’ve updated my long-running Advocate Scorecard to reflect arguments from the current term so that the chart now reflects 11 terms. As always, I have included every advocate who has argued more [...]

I’ve created a little chart that shows opinions released as a percentage of total opinions for a given term. For the current term, I’ve used a hypothetical total of 80, although that number is likely to rise before the end of June. The Court has released 41% of the opinions expected for OT10, a number [...]

As a general matter, the Justices that tend to carry the greatest ideological authority on the Supreme Court should be the ones authoring the greatest number of 5-4 opinions. Drafting those opinions shows that the senior justice in the majority either trusts the author to hold a majority or believes the author may only remain [...]

When he was nominated to the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Roberts mentioned that one of his main objectives as chief justice would be to create more consensus on the Court and to forge a greater number of unanimous decisions. Lets see how successful he’s been after five years. I considered October Terms 1995 – 2009. [...]

I’ve taken a look at the number of opinion days in a given week from OT06 to OT10. In other words, I’ve taken a look at the number of times the Court has released opinions on one day during the week, on two days during the week, or on three (presumably consecutive) days during the [...]

An article in today’s Cincinati Enquirer highlights the Sixth Circuit’s current 15-case losing streak in the Supreme Court. Circuits regularly get reversed (the Court reverses in around 75% of cases) so I wanted to find out if a 15-case streak is especially notable. I decided to take a look at reversal rates from other circuits [...]

A commentator on my last conferencing post picked up on an important part of the distribution question that I had intentionally omitted. How does the number of conferences effect the chances of a petition eventually being granted? I looked at 550 cases docketed on the paid docket from July 2009 – June 2010 (in other [...]

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. [...]



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  • Traitors to the Cause: 6-3 decisions are, statistically speaking, the least common vote split. Frequently, those cases split along the ideological lines that are s...
  • Updates: I've updated a lot of the information on the Term Case Index in preparation for today's cases. I expect the Supreme Court to hand down 1-2 o...
  • Updated Advocate Scorecard (OT00-10): The Court's hearing list for this month completes the list of attorneys who will argue before the Supreme Court during October Term 2010. I'...

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