The Court released its final merits decisions for the 2019 term on Thursday 7/9/2020. We released the Stat Pack the following day which includes a bevy of statistical analyses tracking the decisions from this past term. The accompanying post begins:
A Supreme Court term unlike any other has finally come to an end. In March, some observers thought the term would end early after the court shut its doors and postponed oral arguments — the first time since the 1919 Spanish Flu outbreak that the court closed due to a pandemic. Instead, the term lasted longer than usual, extending well into July for the first time in decades. And in May, the court heard remote arguments over the telephone with a public live audio feed for the first time ever. Those 10 arguments in May were the first time since 1997 that the court heard May arguments — and they represent the largest number of May arguments the court has heard since 1961.
Opinion releases in July are also an unusual twist. Probably due to the court’s delayed argument calendar, the court released seven signed opinions in July, along with two unsigned opinions. The last time the court had issued any decision in July was on July 1, 2014, when it released an unsigned opinion in Williams v. Johnson. And prior to this year, the court’s last signed decision in July was United States v. Winstar in 1996. The last time the court released at least nine decisions in July was in 1986 under Chief Justice Warren Burger.
This term saw the fewest signed decisions in over 100 years. The 53 signed decisions represent the court’s lowest number since 41 in OT 1862 during the Civil War. Prior to that, you have to go back to OT 1849 to find another term with fewer than 53 signed decisions (you can find a more detailed discussion of these numbers here).
You can continuing reading and find the accompanying statistics at this link