State supreme courts issue 6,722 opinions in 2023, fewer than 2022 and 2021

State supreme courts issued 6,722 opinions in 2023. The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia led the field with 528 opinions issued, followed by Texas with 446 and Delaware with 435.

In comparison, state supreme courts issued 7,423 opinions in 2022 and 8,320 opinions in 2021.

State supreme courts issued an average of 129 opinions per week last year. This figure is less than the 2022 weekly average of 143. It’s also less than the average of 160 opinions issued per week in 2021.

Supreme courts in nine states issued fewer than 50 opinions in 2023.

Supreme courts in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Texas, and Delaware regularly end the year as some of the country’s most active courts. Collectively, they accounted for 26% of all opinions issued in 2021 and 2022, and 27% in 2023.

Every state and the District of Columbia have at least one supreme court, known as a court of last resort. Oklahoma and Texas have two courts of last resort, one for civil cases and one for criminal proceedings. Supreme courts do not hear trials of cases. Instead, they hear appeals of decisions made in lower courts. The number of justices on each state supreme court ranges between five and nine.