29 September 2013

The Supreme Court's "Long Conference"

Tomorrow is the Supreme Court's so-called "Long Conference" where they will consider some 2,000 cert petitions that have accumulated over the summer. The cert pool will have divided the many cases among themselves and written memos on each case and made their recommendations. In a previous post, I talked about the odds of having a cert petition granted:
Over the past ten years, an average of more than 8,000 petitions are filed; yet the Court only accepts about 80 cases per term (or, ~1%). Less likely are in forma pauperis (IFP) petitions, which comprise nearly 80% of all petitions. Yet only about 11 IFP cases are granted of the 80 cases per term, which means that the likelihood of an IFP petition being granted is less than two tenths of one percent.
Based on these numbers, you could expect the Court to grant cert in ~20 cases. It may even be less; the number of grants from the long conference for the past three years has been 14, 16, and 14, respectively.

The Supreme Court has already scheduled oral arguments in cases it has already accepted through the end of December, so any new cases granted from tomorrow's conference would be heard in January at the earliest. Once the grant list comes out, I'll start working on my "Plain English" case pages. For a review of that process, see here.
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