Relax, SCOTUS Has Enough Cases for Next Term


Next Term

You’ve seen it; I’ve seen it. Heck… I’ve even written about it.

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear significantly fewer cases next term, right?


An eight-member court, fearful of not being able to decide cases by virtue of an equally split court, was gun shy on granting cases for the next term, so the popular thinking goes.

And while that may have been true shortly after Justice Antonin Scalia’s unexpected death Feb. 13, it’s not true any longer.

By the end of the 2014 term, the court had accepted 33 cases for the 2015 term, accounting for 31 hours of argument.

By the end of last month, the court had accepted 31 cases for next term, totaling 29 hours of argument.

To be sure, those cases don’t involve hot-button issues. But they’re there… ok?

Notably, the number of cases the court hears appears to be sliding in general. At the end of the 2013 term, the court had 40 cases available for its next term. 2012 term: 45 cases. 2011: 31 cases. 2010: 43 cases. And so on.

But that general decline can’t be attributable to the lack of a full bench.

The actual cause of the lightening of the court’s workload is better left to another post.

Until then, relax. There are plenty of civil procedure and bankruptcy cases next term to please everybody!

To keep up with the latest on U.S. Supreme Court grants, take a free trial to United States Law Week.