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The Ninth Circuit and SCOTUS

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Last term, there was some discussion in the press about the unusual number of Sixth Circuit cases taken up by the Supreme Court, and people were asking whether the Sixth was the new Ninth.  My opinion was that we should not read too much into one year's statistics, which could be just an anomaly.

Lawrence Hurley reports in the LA Daily Journal (via How Appealing) that the Ninth has resumed its usual place as the most-reviewed circuit.  Fully one-third of the Supreme Court's cert-granted docket (18/54) is Ninth Circuit cases, disproportionate even after considering the Ninth's size. "Commenting on the proportion of 9th Circuit cases, University of Pittsburgh School of Law professor Arthur Hellman noted that the circuit was 'overrepresented on the docket.'" And 6 of the 54 are from state court, so the Ninth's share of federal cases is 18/48 or 37.5%, close to double its 20% of total federal circuit cases.

The story describes Harrington v. Richter, a habeas case in which CJLF has filed an amicus brief, and several civil cases.

As "federalist" notes in the comments, Ed Whelan has this post on the numbers.  Ed says it is "not much of a stretch" to count the prisoner release order case, Schwarzenegger v. Plata, as a Ninth Circuit case. Maybe, but I won't make the stretch.  This case is a direct appeal, not a certiorari petition, so I would not count it in either the numerator or denominator.

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