Annual Supreme Court Terms commence, by statute, on the first Monday of October.  28 U.S.C. § 2 provides:

14“The Supreme Court shall hold at the seat of government a {T}erm of court commencing on the first Monday in October of each year….”

Though Congress never specified on which day a Term should end, the Court prefers to end a Term as soon as all of the argued cases have been disposed of.  Supreme Court Rule 3 provides that “

[a]t the end of each Term, all cases pending on the docket are continued to the next Term.”

Typically, a Term concludes shortly after the Court’s last scheduled distribution date in June or July (June 19th this term).  After all final orders have been released (which occurred this morning), Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr. formally announces the Court’s adjournment and the beginning of its summer recess.

While the work of the Court continues throughout the summer, most of the Justices use recess to vacation, teach, and write.  The previous Term’s law clerks train incoming clerks how to write cert. pool memos and deal with last-minute petitions for stay of execution.

Though the Court begins to assign “14-__” docket numbers upon conclusion of the 2013 Term, it will not formally open its 2014 Term until October 6th.