Chief Justice John Roberts has issued his Year End Report.
- Congress has authorized 673 district judgeships, and the active judges receive assistance from more than 500 senior district judges.”
- The total number of cases filed in the Supreme Court decreased by 7.94 percent from 7,033 filings in the 2014 Term to 6,475 filings in the 2015 Term. The number of cases filed in the Court’s in forma pauperis docket decreased by 10.24 percent from 5,488 filings in the 2014 Term to 4,926 filings in the 2015 Term. The number of cases filed in the Court’s paid docket increased by 0.02 percent from 1,545 filings in the 2014 Term to 1,549 filings in the 2015 Term. During the 2015 Term, 82 cases were argued and 70 were disposed of in 62 signed opinions, compared with 75 cases argued and 75 disposed of in 66 signed opinions during the 2014 Term. The Court also issued 12 per curiam decisions during the 2015 Term in cases that were not argued.
- In the regional courts of appeals, filings rose 15 percent to 60,357. Appeals involving pro se litigants, which accounted for 52 percent of filings, increased 18 percent. Total civil appeals decreased two percent, criminal appeals grew one percent, appeals of administrative agency decisions fell nine percent, and bankruptcy appeals fell ten percent.
- Civil case filings increased five percent to 291,851. Cases involving diversity of citizenship fell five percent. Cases with the United States as defendant increased 55 percent as a result of prisoner petitions related to the Supreme Court’s decision in Welch v. United States, No. 15-6418 (Apr. 18, 2016), which provided a new basis for certain prisoners convicted under the Armed Career Criminal Act to challenge their sentences. Cases with the United States as plaintiff decreased 19 percent as fewer cases involving defaulted student loans and forfeiture and penalty cases were filed.
Filings for criminal defendants decreased three percent to 77,357. Defendants charged with drug crimes, accounting for 32 percent of total filings, fell three percent.
- Bankruptcy petition filings decreased six percent