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Latest Stat Pack | Updated 6.23.10

The most recently updated Stat Pack is now available here (as one file).  It covers decisions in all October Term 2009 cases as of the most recent release of orders and opinions, on Monday, June 21.  The separate charts in it are:

We will include more charts in subsequent versions of the Stat Pack, which we will release later this Term.  For all of the blog’s statistics reports from OT95 onward, including our first four from OT09, please see our archives on SCOTUSwiki here.

Below the jump are key take-aways from the Stat Pack, as well as a few points of comparison with past editions.

  • There are seventy-four (74) decided merits cases and four (4) merits cases that were dismissed.  (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 seventy-four (74), sixty-two (62) are in argued cases, two (2) are in cases decided before argument, and ten (10) are summary dispositions.
  • Of the seventy-four (74) decided cases, thirty-four (34) — or forty-six percent (46%) — are unanimous, while only eleven (11) are five-four (5-4) splits.  Notably, the rate of unanimous opinions issued by the Court has fallen over the past two weeks.  Since our June 11 edition of the Stat Pack, the Court has issued thirteen (13) opinions, but only four (4) of them were unanimous (or thirty-one percent (31%)); until that point, nearly fifty percent of the Court’s decisions had been unanimous.  We also have not seen a summary reversal since May 24.
  • Chief Justice Roberts has now dissented five (5) times in argued cases decided on the merits this Term.  That more than doubles his number of dissents since the last Stat Pack on June 16 (he had dissented twice at that point).   By contrast, Justice Stevens has dissented twenty (20) times in such cases.
  • Of the eleven (11) decisions that we regard as five-four (5-4) decisions, Justices Scalia and Kennedy have each written the opinions for the Court in two (2), and Justice Alito has written in three (3).  No other Justice has written more than one such opinion.
  • There are eleven (11) outstanding argued cases.   These include the high-profile cases McDonald v. Chicago, Bilski v. Kappos, Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, and Skilling v. United States. The full list, just posted, is here.
  • It may be worth noting that only two Justices – Ginsburg and Alito – have not yet authored an opinion from the February sitting.  The outstanding cases from that sitting are Skilling v. United States and McDonald v. Chicago.
  • The Court has granted thirty-one (31) cases for OT10, fourteen (14) of which originate in the Ninth Circuit.