A note on certiorari deadlines under the court’s new procedures
As reported on this blog and Howe on the Court, the Supreme Court has issued an order extending the deadline for filing a petition for a writ of certiorari to 150 days from the lower court’s judgment. The prior deadline had been 90 days.
Those intending to file a petition, however, should note that the deadline for seeking certiorari in civil cases is fixed by statute, 28 U.S.C. § 2101(c), at “ninety days after the entry of [the lower court’s] judgment,” with the possibility of extension “for good cause shown … for a period not exceeding sixty days.” The court’s recent order appears to reflect its judgment that, under the present circumstances, good cause exists to give all potential petitioners the benefit of more time.
As the court has previously explained, because the certiorari deadline in civil cases is statutory, it is mandatory and jurisdictional. That means the court is not at liberty to extend it further, even when there are compelling reasons to do so. Civil-case petitioners thus should not expect any further extension past the 150 days now permitted. (The deadline in criminal cases is set by the court’s own rules and can theoretically be relaxed, but the court very rarely does so.)