The other day Mark Sherman of AP reported an interesting statistic via Twitter (Kimberly Robinson mentioned this stat in Bloomberg Big Law Business post as well): this term would be the Court’s slowest in recent years for releasing the first two orally argued decisions. I decided to examine the details behind this statistic, which I provide in the graphic below. The graphic tracks the Court’s release of its first two orally argued, written and signed decisions for all terms since 1990. The opinions are separated by month and day on the vertical axis and by term on the horizontal axis.
The Court’s single opinion in an argued case this term in Hamer is noted in the graphic on November 8, 2017. In 2008, the Court released its second opinion on December 15 which was the latest in recent years. I tracked this all the way back to 1946 with the Vinson Court and did not find a second opinion released later in any term in this period.
Although December 15, 2017 is not until next week, Sherman reports that the Court is not expected to release any opinions next week and so the Court will not likely release its next opinion before January 9, 2018.
UPDATE: According to the Supreme Court Database, the last time the Court released its second orally argued decision in January of a year was during the 1868 term (the second opinion was issued on January 11, 1869).
On Twitter: @AdamSFeldman