While you were dancing away the last hours of 2019, or perhaps just watching Ryan Seacrest, Chief Justice John Roberts was undertaking the time-honored tradition of releasing his Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary under cover of darkness. This year’s theme was the judiciary’s importance in maintaining civic education, especially in an era in which fewer Americans are exposed to the brilliance of our Constitution.
I shall have more to say about this theme in a future post, but for the moment I will highlight a few of the more interesting statistics about the work of the federal courts over the past year:
- Cases argued before the Supreme Court continued to decline, with only 73 arguments taking place during October Term 2018. Compare that to 175 arguments back in OT 1984.
- In the federal district courts, civil case filings rose about 5%, and criminal filings rose about 6%.
- Bankruptcy petitions are back on the rise after a one-year drop in 2018.