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Latest Stat Pack available

An update to our April 28 preliminary Stat Pack is here (for comparison, the first edition is here).   It covers decisions in all October Term 2009 cases as of today.  The separate charts in it are:

We will include more charts in later editions of the Stat Pack to be released this Term.  For all of the blog’s statistic reports from OT95 onward, please see our archives on SCOTUSwiki here.

This month we’ve seen opinions on Mondays only.   Beginning in June, we may begin to get opinions on additional days — likely Thursdays — each week.

Below the jump are key take-aways from the Stat Pack, as well as a few points of comparison with last month’s edition.

  • There are 53 decided merits cases and 4 dismissed cases (we exclude Briscoe v. Virginia (because we do not regard it as having been decided on the merits) and Citizens United (an OT08 case).  Of the 53, 41 are in argued cases, 2 are in cases decided before argument, and 10 are summary dispositions.  Kedar Bhatia’s updated list of all OT09 cases and their status (decided or not) is here.
  • Of the 53 decided cases, 27 (51%) are unanimous, while only 5 are 5-4 splits.  Since our Stat Pack last month, the Court has not split 5-4 on any new decisions.
  • Chief Justice Roberts has dissented in only one argued case decided on the merits this Term (South Carolina v. North Carolina).  By contrast, Justice Stevens has dissented 11 times in such cases, authoring 7 of those dissenting opinions.
  • Among the eleven merits opinions released in the last month since our last Stat Pack, Justice Kennedy voted with the majority 100% of the time; he has now displaced Justice Scalia as the Justice who is second-most likely to be in the majority (92% of the time), after Chief Justice Roberts.
  • Justice Sotomayor has not participated in 5 decided cases, while Justice Alito has not participated in 1; in decided cases, no other Justices have recused themselves this Term.
  • There are 31 outstanding merits cases.  Two are from the November Sitting (Schwab v. Reilly and Bilski v. Kappos).  Only Justices Stevens and Thomas have yet to author opinions for the Court from that sitting.  Four are from the December Sitting (Stop the Beach Renourishment v. Florida, Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, Black v. United States, and Weyhrauch v. United States).   The only Justices who have not yet authored opinions from that sitting are Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia and Kennedy.
  • Cases from the Ninth Circuit comprise 19% of the Court’s docket this Term.
  • The Chief Justice and Justice Kennedy have authored 6 of the 7 6-3 opinions this Term.
  • The Court has granted 23 cases for OT10, 10 of which originate in the Ninth Circuit.