SCOTUSblog’s Kedar Bhatia released his annual Stat Pack for October Term 2014 this week – an invaluable resource for the Supreme Court community.  You can access the Stat Pack in full, here.  Here are my top ten takeaways:

  1. Circuit Scorecard
  • The Court of Appeals for the First Circuit was affirmed 100% of the time during the 2014 Term, while the Second, Third, Seventh, and Eleventh Circuits were reversed 100% of the time.
  • State courts were affirmed 60% of the time.
  1. Merits Cases by Split Vote
  • More unanimous opinions were released (40%) than 5-4 opinions (26%).
  1. Make-Up of the Merits Docket
  • 89% of cases came from the United States Courts of Appeals.
  • 87% of cases were paid (booklet format) petitions.
  • 75% of cases were civil in nature.
  1. Opinion Authorship
  • Justice Thomas authored the most total opinions (37).
  • Justice Thomas also authored the most dissents (19).
  • Justice Scalia authored the most majority opinions (9).
  1. Frequency in the Majority
  • Justice Breyer was in the majority most frequently (92%).
  • Justice Thomas was least frequently in the majority (61%).
  • In cases split 5-4, Justices Kennedy and Breyer were most frequently in the majority (74%).
  • In cases split 5-4, Justice Scalia was least frequently in the majority (32%).
  1. Justice Agreement – All Cases
  • Justices Breyer and Sotomayor fully agreed more than any other duo (86%), while Justices Thomas and Sotomayor fully agreed in half of all cases.
  1. Justice Agreement – Highs and Lows
  • When taking into account whether the Justices agreed in full, part, or judgment only, Justices Ginsburg and Breyer agreed 94.4% of the time, while Justices Scalia and Breyer agreed in just 62.5% of cases.
  1. Grants Per Conference
  • The first conference in October (the “long conference”) had 12 cert. grants.
  • The Justices broke five different conferences without granting a single petition.
  1. Oral Argument – Justices
  • Justice Scalia asked the highest number of questions per oral argument (22).
  • Justice Thomas did not ask a question during oral argument yet again this term.
  1. Oral Argument – Advocates
  • Harvard Law School sent the most advocates (21).
  • Justice Scalia sent more former law clerks than any other Justice (8).
  • Donald B. Verrilli, Jr. appeared more than any other advocate (7).
  • Fewer than 1/5 advocates were female.
  • Almost half (46%) had experience in the Office of the Solicitor General.

pie-chart-iconCitation: Kedar Bhatia, Final Stat Pack for October Term 2014, SCOTUSblog (July. 1, 2015),