Appellate Review III
Journal of Legal Metrics, No. 2, 2014
14 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2015
Date Written: February 1, 2015
With this brief essay, we offer updates to an improved metric of appellate review – one which measures circuit court performance by compiling data on the Court’s resolution of circuit splits. A “circuit split,”as articulated by Supreme Court Rule 10, exists when “a federal court of appeals has decided a case in conflict with the decision of another federal court of appeals.” Thus, rather than simply calculating how frequently the Court affirms the judgment below (what we term the “primary review” affirmance rate), we examine how frequently the Court approves of a court of appeals’ judgment on the particular issue that has caused the split. Our updated metric aims to address some of the pitfalls of gathering this type of data.
Keywords: SCOTUS, Supreme Court, data, statistics, appellate review, circuit splits, court data
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