August 23, 2016 Articles

The Supreme Court's Summary Docket: Highlights, Trends, and Statistics

A review of the High Court's summary docket reveals it issued more summary reversals and fractured opinions this term than in the past.

By Ryan J. Watson – August 23, 2016

High Court aficionados aside, lawyers and the public can be guilty of giving scant attention to the Supreme Court’s summary decisions, which are issued without full briefing or oral argument. These summary decisions should not, however, escape notice. An examination of the summary docket from the Court’s five most recent terms brings into focus the particularly prominent role that summary reversals had in the just-concluded 2015 Term. Moreover, delving into the substance of this term’s summary decisions reveals an array of hot-button issues that prompted vociferous dissents.

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