The Shrunken Docket of the Rehnquist Court

  title={The Shrunken Docket of the Rehnquist Court},
  author={Arthur D. Hellman},
  journal={The Supreme Court Review},
  pages={403 - 438}
From 1971 through 1988, the United States Supreme Court was hearing and deciding about 150 cases each Term. Since the mid-1990s, however, the number of plenary decisions each Term has generally ranged between 75 and 85. How can we explain the shrunken docket? To answer that question, we must identify the changes that have taken place in the cases selected for plenary review and analyze them in a systematic fashion. In this article, I compare the composition of the plenary docket during the… 

Shaping the Supreme Court's Federal Certiorari Docket

The size of the Supreme Court's discretionary docket has varied considerably over the last fifty years, and that variation has received more attention in both scholarly and journalistic circles in

The Most Dangerous Justice Rides Again: Revisiting the Power Pageant of the Justices

Who is the most powerful Supreme Court Justice? In 1996 we measured voting power on the Court according to each Justice's ability to form five-member coalitions. From the set of all coalitions formed

The Lottery Docket

We propose supplementing the Supreme Court’s caseload with a “lottery docket” of cases selected at random from final judgments of the circuit courts. The Court currently possesses almost unfettered

Institutional Process, Agenda Setting, and the Development of Election Law on the Supreme Court

The burgeoning commentary on the two important election law cases, Randall v. Sorrell and LULAC v. Perry, decided by the Roberts Court at the end of the 2005 Term, has paid relatively little

An Empirical Study of Supreme Court Justice Pre-Appointment Experience

This study compares the years of experience that preceded appointment to the Supreme Court for each Justice. The study seeks to demonstrate that the background experiences of the Roberts Court

Three Essays in Law and Economics Three Essays in Law and Economics

The first chapter presents a model of legal interpretation in a hierarchical court. Using a two-level court in which judges have spatial preferences over doctrine, the model examines how appeals,

The Role of Constitutional Courts in the Establishment and Maintenance of Democratic Systems of Government

What role do courts play in the establishment and maintenance of constitutional democracies? To address this question, we elaborate a model that draws on existing substantive literature and on

Antitrust Stare Decisis

The concept of stare decisis, the idea that the Supreme Court follows its own precedents, presumes that settled law offers advantages that may outweigh the costs of its imprecision. Explaining its

A Capital Waste of Time? Examining the Supreme Court's 'Culture of Death'

In a lecture at the University of Chicago, U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer highlighted that he has two jobs: the first job, he explained, is deciding what to decide, and the

Efficiency Increased? The Effect of the Case Selections Act of 1988 on Abortion Case Processing Efficiency

Did the Case Selections Act of 1988 (the Act) reduce the time the Supreme Court takes to process abortion cases? In 1988, Congress passed legislation, which eliminated most of the Court’s mandatory



91 Harv L Rev at 1718 (cited in note 1) (quoting Supreme Court Justices). 72Allis-Chalmers Corp. v Lueck

  • 1985

The Supreme Court's New Rules-Model

  • 1995