Supreme Court is positioned for lightest caseload in 70 years
So far the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear only 12 cases for the new term that begins in October, putting it in a position for the lightest caseload in at least 70 years.
In the last five years, the court had at this point agreed to hear an average of nearly 18 cases for the upcoming docket, according to the New York Times FiveThirtyEight blog. The story relies on data from SCOTUSblog, which lists the 12 cases here.
The number of cert grants is far below the pace of the 1980s and 1990s, when the Supreme Court often heard more than 150 cases a term, according to the blog. Now the court hears about half that many cases.
The court is likely taking fewer cases to avoid 4-4 ties after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, the article says, citing the views of Supreme Court journalists.
“Not only are fewer cases likely to be heard next term,” the story says, “but the ones that will be heard lack the gravity of cases in recent years. How to treat separate parcels of land doesn’t quite have the same country-defining import as the constitutional right to same-sex marriage.”