When the Supreme Court opened its 2014 Term on Monday, October 6, it also unveiled a new website. The revamped site contains a reorganized, navigable homepage menu, links to transcript and oral argument audio files, and improved mobile browser accessibility. Also of note, per Lyle Denniston of SCOTUSblog, the Court has decided to make two pieces of significant information publicly available:
First, when the Court has distributed a case for a private Conference of the Justices, but a decision is made before that Conference to reschedule it, that fact will be reported promptly on the docket page for that case. Later, the docket page for that case will reflect when it will next be scheduled for consideration.
We can see this in action by visiting the docket page for No. 13-8427, Cope v. South Carolina, the only case from the 2013 Term to be relisted. Moments after the Court released orders from its long conference, Cope’s docket page was updated to show that the case had been redistributed for conference on October 10.
Second, if an individual Justice takes an action — for example, on a request to postpone a lower court ruling — and actually creates an order, that will appear on the orders section on the Court’s website as an order by an individual Justice, by name. Such orders have already been entered on the docket, and that will continue along with the website entry.
We can see this in action by visiting the Court’s orders page, which reveals that two miscellaneous orders were released on Wednesday, each signed by Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy. The first order was issued to block the start of same-sex marriage in Nevada and Idaho following the Court’s decision to withhold certiorari from seven pending petitions filed this summer. According to Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg, the first order was issued in error. Justice Kennedy issued a second order about 80 minutes later to clarify that the hold should be lifted in Nevada, but would remain intact in Idaho (per request of Idaho’s Governor, C.L. “Butch” Otter).