This marks four years that the Court has met its target of clearing those argued cases from its docket by the end of June, roughly matching the U.S. Supreme Court calendar.
This week’s orders also look ahead to the fall, assigning specific argument dates to 30 cases that will be heard in September and October.1
Some early statistics
I try to keep my published statistics up-to-date throughout the year, but one of the Justices might have beaten me to it with some tweets on Friday morning.
Unofficial #SCOTX wonk report /1/ Today, for the 4th year in a row, #SCOTX decided every case argued this term. We resolved 99 cases (100 if you count a new decision on rehearing of a case decided last term). 52 were unanimous, 29 were per curiam, and 18 were split decisions.
— Justice Jeff Boyd (@JeffBoydTX) June 29, 2018
My opinion totals, luckily for me, match those. I show 71 signed decisions and 29 per curiams, totaling 100.
There could be two wrinkles with my totals. First, I did decide to count the new decision on rehearing in , No. 14-0721 with this new term. The Court granted rehearing, wrote a substantially different opinion, and changed its voting alignment. For my purposes at least, that’s a new decision. So, it comes off the books for 2017 and goes onto the books for 2018.
Second, I also decided to treat USAA Texas Lloyds v. Menchaca as a plurality, rather than a majority.2 I’m not sure how the official statistics, when they’re issued, will classify this case. Although there are parts of the lead opinion that gathered more than four signatories, only three justices joined the opinion’s rationale for the judgment of remand. That feels like a plurality to me.
And if you’re looking for a sneak peak at my voting tables showing how the Texas Supreme Court Justices vote with or against each other, the online version of that chart now covers all the opinions through June 2018. I haven’t yet had time to really analyze this term’s patterns. But if you want to explore the rare disagreements between some justices, or rare agreement between others, you can click through to see which specific opinions led to these totals.