July 01, 2017

Calls for the views of the Solicitor General: An obscure but important part of Supreme Court practice

Ginger D. Anders

The Supreme Court receives between 7,000 and 8,000 petitions for certiorari a year, and it grants review in only about 80 of them. To warrant the Court’s review, a petition must cleanly present a question of national importance. With increasing frequency over the past 10 years, the Court has concluded that it should hear from the United States government before it decides whether to grant or deny certiorari. In recent Terms, the Court has called for the views of the Solicitor General (or “CVSG”) in about 25 petitions per Term, inviting the Solicitor General to file an amicus brief explaining the United States’ views on whether the case warrants the Court’s review.

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