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John Elwood at the Volokh Conspiracy points us to certpool.com, a website that tracks certiorari petitions in the United States Supreme Court.  Very cool.

As John notes, the certiorari docket isn't the whole docket.  It is, however, the source of almost all SCOTUS cases of interest in criminal law.  The exceptions are:

1.  The original docket.  Historically, this has mostly been states suing each other about water-related issues:  boundary disputes over shifting river channels, fights over the water itself (e.g., Arizona v. California, a real case that lasted longer than Dickens's fictional Jarndyce v. Jarndyce), and submerged minerals.  Zzzzzz.

Post-AEDPA, we also have a lot of death row inmates trying original habeas petitions.  Only two have gotten real action -- Felker right out of the gate in 1996 and Troy Davis in 2009 -- but those two were big news.

2.  Appeals from three-judge courts.  For a very few cases near and dear to the hearts of congressmen, we still have ye olde system of a three-judge trial court with a direct appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.  Most common of these are reapportionment cases.  However, under the Prison Litigation Reform Act, prisoner release orders are also three-judge court cases, and that is the path that gave us the disastrous Brown v. Plata.

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