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Updated StatPack

Today’s updated StatPack (download here) features the usual assortment of tables and charts to go along with our case list, but our “Grant Chart” has been updated with a few new features.  We’ve expanded the chart to encompass an entire 12-month period, and we’ve also added two “trendlines” that may provide useful points of comparison.

A few notes: the 12-month period begins in February and ends in January because recent practice has been that the Court fills its argument calendar with cases granted through January of the current Term; cases added to the docket beginning in February of one term are held over for the next one.  The OT05 docket, then, consisted of cases granted from February of 2005 to January 2006; OT06 comprised cases granted between February 2006 and January 2007; and, presumably, this term’s docket will include cases granted from last February through the end of the January sitting.

This is not a hard and fast rule, however: the Court has in terms past decided to hold cases granted in January for the following term, depending on the state of the docket at that point.  Based on recent practice, though, beginning the chart in February and ending it in January is the most accurate way to view the way the docket builds up for a given term.

The second new feature is the addition of trendlines, the black and purple dashed lines with circular markers.  The upper trendline presumes the Court grants a steady number of cases each week to get to 78 cases per term (this is precisely 1.5 grants per week), and the lower one assumes they grant at a steady rate to get to 70 cases (this ends up being about 1.35 cases per week).  Because Conferences are not spaced out evenly – some Conferences encompass only one week’s worth of distributions, while at the Long Conference the Justices consider roughly 13 weeks worth of pending petitions – the number of hypothetical grants per Conference varies.