Introducing the Stat Pack for October Term 2013 and an update on the docket
We are happy to present the first edition of the Stat Pack for October Term 2013. This year’s Stat Pack includes some features typical of our Stat Packs, such as the Circuit Scorecard, Frequency in the Majority tables, and Justice Agreement tables. It introduces two new tables: one that records the number of grants per conference, and another that records the number of opinions per week. This edition of the Stat Pack also introduces enhanced statistics related to advocates who have argued before the Court during OT13.
You can view the Stat Pack in its entirety here. You can also view each portion of the Stat Pack individually below:
- Opinions by Sitting
- Merits Cases by Vote Split
- Make-Up of the Merits Docket
- Term Index
- Total Opinion Authorship
- Frequency in the Majority
- Justice Agreement – All Cases
- Justice Agreement – Non-Unanimous Cases
- Time Between Cert. Grant and Oral Argument
- Time Between Oral Argument and Opinion
- Pace of Grants
- Pace of Opinions
- Grants Per Conference
- Opinions Per Week
- Oral Argument – Advocates
You can find additional analysis of the Term’s opinions, oral arguments, and advocates below.
Pace of Opinions: Through March 10, 2014, the Supreme Court has released twenty-seven merits opinions for the Term. Justice Scalia has released the greatest number of majority opinions with four; Justice Kennedy has the fewest with only one. The Justices who typically author the fewest total opinions during a Term are beginning to reveal the same tendency during OT13. Justice Kennedy, who has been in the bottom half of opinion authors by volume of opinions in nearly every Term since OT05, has written only two total opinions. Justice Kagan, who wrote the fewest opinions during OT12, joins Justice Kennedy with only two total opinions.
As a whole, the Court is slightly ahead of its normal pace of opinions for the Term. It released twelve merits opinions during the February sitting, slightly ahead of its average of 10.6 merits opinions for February during the period from OT06-OT12.
Frequency in the Majority: Justice Scalia has been in the majority more often than any of his colleagues, siding with the majority in every case through the first twenty-seven opinions of the Term. Justice Kennedy, who is frequently the Justice most likely to be in the majority over the course of an entire Term, has dissented in three cases, which is somewhat surprising given that there have only been seven divided cases during the Term.
Circuit Scorecard: The seventy-one merits cases for the Term hail from each of the eleven geographic circuits, the D.C. and Federal Circuits, five states, and one three-judge district court panel. Although in recent years the Ninth Circuit has often provided the greatest number of merits cases for a given Term, for the first time in several years it may have to share that title with the Sixth Circuit, which like the Ninth has eleven cases on the merits docket this Term. However, in recent years, the Ninth and Sixth Circuits have been the two circuits most likely to see their cases reversed by a summary reversal, so their total number of appearances on the merits docket may shift as summary reversals are released between now and the end of June.
Advocates: Lawyers have appeared before the Supreme Court 139 times through the February sitting. Lawyers from the Office of the Solicitor General have appeared forty-five times, accounting for thirty-two percent of all appearances. Lawyers who have argued at least twice during the Term argued sixty-seven times, accounting for forty-eight percent of all arguments. Lawyers based in Washington, D.C., argued eighty-eight times, accounting for sixty-three percent of all appearances. Female advocates argued twenty-two times, accounting for only sixteen percent of all appearances. When lawyers from the Office of the Solicitor General are omitted, female lawyers argued only eight times – just eight percent of the remaining appearances. Harvard Law School has been the best-represented law school during the Term: its alumni have argued twenty-six times, barely inching out Yale Law School, whose alumni have appeared twenty-five times. The University of Chicago Law School is in third place: its alumni have argued eleven times so far this Term.