5th Circuit Blog

A Quick Look at the 5th Circuit's Scorecard for the Supreme Court's October 2013 Term

By Craig Smyser on July 30, 2014

Now that the Supreme Court has finished its work for the term beginning in October 2013, we can see how the Court treated cases it ruled on from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Cir.  The big numbers are:

  • The U.S. Supreme Court decided 7 cases from the 5th Circuit this term.
  • Of those 7 cases, the Supreme Court affirmed 1 and reversed 6.
  • The 14% affirmance rate was the second lowest of any circuit; only the 9th Circuit was affirmed at a lower rate (8%).


These numbers, cribbed from the SCOTUSblog Stat Pack*, count the three cases from the 5th Circuit consolidated in Chadbourne & Park LLP v. Troice, as one Supreme Court decision.

Although in some circles the 5th Circuit is considered a “conservative” Court, at least when compared to some of the other circuits, the numbers show that the only two Justices who voted to reverse every one of the seven 5th Circuit cases the Court decided were Justice Kennedy – who was the deciding vote on each of the ten 5-4 decisions this term – and Justice Alito – who many Court watchers consider the third most conservative Justice on the Court.  The most any Justice voted to affirm the 5th Circuit this term was twice and four Justices – Justice Robert, Justice Scalia, Justice Thomas, and Justice Sotomayor – cast two votes to affirm out of the seven decisions.

*Kedar S. Bhatia, State Pack for October Term 2013, ScotusBlog (July 3, 2014)


Posted In: Supreme Court

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