Bloomberg Law Quotes Pratik Shah on Slowdown in SCOTUS Opinions

Bloomberg Law has quoted Pratik Shah, co-head of Akin Gump’s Supreme Court and appellate practice, in the blog post “Slow Justice: What’s Been Holding Up SCOTUS Opinions?” The article addresses what it says is the Court’s slowest pace for releasing opinions since the 1800s.

Several issues could be contributing to the slowdown, according to the article. The presence of a new justice—Neil Gorsuch—may be one factor, while another, the article notes, could be a lack of unanimous opinions.

For his part, Shah says it could be because the Court had “an unusually light October (9 argued cases) and November (6 argued cases). On top of that, those sittings (October in particular) had a high portion of significant cases in which multiple opinions (which obviously delay the process) seem likely. Since those sittings provide the pool for early opinions, the fewer number of opinions to date is not altogether surprising.”

Shah added, “In light of that factor, I think it is too early to predict an unusual level of division among the justices or lack of unanimity this term. And I’m skeptical that Justice Gorsuch’s presence explains the delay; after all, Justice Scalia (whom he replaced) was not shy about writing separate opinions.”