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Friday, December 08, 2006

Dwindling Supreme Court Docket

Linda Greenhouse addresses the dwindling
Supreme Court docket in today's The New York
Times. According to Greenhouse, the number
of signed opinons issued by the Court fell to
sixty-nine in the latest term, the lowest since
1953 and fewer than half the number the court
was deciding as recently as the mid-1980s.
Reasons posited for the decline include: fewer
enacted statutes to interpret; increase in the
number of cases won by the government in the
lower courts, and; justices' reluctance to take
cases which might place them on the losing side.

The issue is also addressed in depth by Tom Goldstein
in a November 30 SCOTUSblog post.

(It is worth noting that the U.S. Supreme Court
took five new cases yesterday.)