This time, we’re measuring the length of Supreme Court review in civil cases by an alternative measure – the average number of days from the close of briefing to oral argument. One caveat – this data set runs from the close of all briefing – including amici and any supplemental briefs – to oral argument. Accordingly, the numbers can be skewed at least a bit if an amicus happens to appear at the last moment, or in the very rare cases where the Court requests supplemental briefing just before oral argument.
Overall, the number has been relatively steady since 1990. We begin in 1990 with 228.6 days. From 1993 through 1998, the number dipped below 200. The average wait reached 297.4 days by 206 and bounced around in the mid-200s for the rest of the decade. Lag time reached 385.5 days in 2017. In 2018, it fell all the way to 233.5 days. In 2019, the average wait for argument was 244.3 days. There was a one-year increase in 2020 to 342.6 days before the average wait settled back down again to 250.9 days in 2021 and 254.1 days in 2022.
Join us back here next time as we turn our attention to a new topic.