SCOTUS 2020 term reversal rate higher than average since 2007

Welcome to the Thursday, July 15, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. SCOTUS 2020 term reversal rate higher than average since 2007
  2. Redistricting review: Michigan Supreme Court declines to extend redistricting deadlines
  3. Keeping tabs on local filing deadlines

SCOTUS 2020 term reversal rate higher than average since 2007

During its most recent term, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed 55 of 69 lower court decisions (79.7%) and affirmed 14. This term’s reversal rate was nine percentage points higher than the average in all cases from 2007 to 2019 (70.7%). Sixteen cases originated from the Ninth Circuit, more than any other, including state courts. SCOTUS reversed the Ninth Circuit’s judgment in 15 of those cases.

SCOTUS decides an average of 76 cases each year. The court can either affirm a lower court’s ruling or reverse it. Most cases originate from a lower court—any one of the 13 federal appeals circuits, U.S. district courts, or state courts. Original jurisdiction cases, which typically involve disputes between two states, cannot be considered affirmed or reversed since SCOTUS is the first and only court that rules in the case.

Here’s a breakdown of all U.S. Supreme Court activity since 2007:

  • SCOTUS released opinions in 1,062 cases.
  • SCOTUS reversed a lower court decision 751 times (70.7%) and affirmed a lower court decision 303 times (28.5%)
  • 207 cases originated in the Ninth Circuit, more than any other. The Fifth Circuit was next with 79 cases.
  • SCOTUS overturned more cases from the Ninth Circuit (164) than any other, but it overturned the highest percentage of cases from the Sixth Circuit (81.1%, or 60 of 74 cases).

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Redistricting review: Michigan Supreme Court declines to extend redistricting deadlines

Here’s our weekly summary of news in the redistricting world.

Michigan: On July 9, the Michigan Supreme Court rejected the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission’s request to extend constitutional deadlines for adopting new redistricting plans. The deadlines to present redistricting plans to the public by Sept. 17 and adopt plans by Nov. 1 remain in effect.

New York: The New York Independent Redistricting Commission (NYIRC) announced on July 12 that public hearings would begin on July 20. A full list of hearing dates is available here. NYIRC also said it would release its first redistricting proposal on Sept. 15. 

Pennsylvania: On July 12, redistricting authorities in Pennsylvania launched a redistricting website and announced a schedule for public hearings on congressional redistricting. The first hearing will be on July 22. A full list of hearing dates is available here.

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Keeping tabs on local filing deadlines

We’ve got a handful of local election filing deadlines coming up. Here are the ones through July.

  • July 16: New Orleans, Louisiana, and Toledo, Ohio municipal candidates
  • July 19: Santa Fe, New Mexico publicly funded candidates
  • July 23: Manchester School District, New Hampshire candidates
  • July 26: Hialeah, Florida, and Annapolis, Maryland municipal candidates

Before we know it, we’ll be covering the first filing deadlines of 2022. Those deadlines are still being set, but the first five states’ filing deadlines (North Carolina, Kentucky, Mississippi, Maryland, and West Virginia) for 2020 primaries occurred between Dec. 20, 2019, and Jan. 25, 2020.

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About the author

Dave Beaudoin

Dave Beaudoin is a project director at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.