Today we are happy to present the second preview of our final Stat Pack for the October Term 2014. As we approach the last opinion day of the Term, several key trends are beginning to reveal themselves. You can view the Stat Pack in its entirety here. You can also view each portion of the Stat Pack individually and review our takeaways from this version of the Stat Pack below.
[Updated 6/28/2015 to correctly identify the voting alignment in Walker v. Sons of Confederate Veterans]
You can find additional analysis of the Term’s opinions, oral arguments, and advocates below.
Opinion Output: Justice Clarence Thomas continues to lead his colleagues in total opinion output, authoring thirty-four total opinions. His tally includes a staggering eighteen dissenting opinions, more than any Justice has authored during a single Term in the Roberts Court era. Justice Antonin Scalia trails closely with fourteen dissenting opinions during OT14. The Justices have collectively authored sixty-two dissenting opinions, the highest overall tally since the Justices authored seventy-one dissenting opinions during OT08. Page 8.
Unanimity: After the level of unanimity had trended upwards for several consecutive years, OT14 has seen a significant drop-off. The Justices were perfectly unanimous in 26% of cases, the lowest rate since OT10 (21%). Pages 19-20.
Frequency in the Majority: Justice Stephen Breyer has voted with the majority in sixty-five of the sixty-nine cases in which he has voted during OT14. Depending on the vote in Monday’s cases, Justice Breyer may retain his lead, which would be his first time leading the “frequency in the majority” metric during the Roberts Court era. Page 21.
Justice Agreement: Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Breyer have the highest rate of agreement through the Term, 94.2%. The lowest rate of agreement is between Justices Samuel Alito and Sonia Sotomayor, 52.1%. Page 31.
Pace of Grants: The Supreme Court is behind its recent pace of granting petitions. The Court has granted only 22 cases for OT15. Since OT10, the Court has had, on average, 27 petitions granted through this point in the Term. As in all weeks, however, the last week of the Term often sees several grants. From OT03-OT13, the Court granted an average of 8.8 petitions during the last week of June. Page 36.