(Posted May 11, 2023) The Supreme Court didn’t issue any published opinions this morning, so here are a few minor notes.


2023’s first unpub

The Robes issue the first unpublished order of the year today, in Little v. Clarke. It’s a habeas appeal in which the inmate appeals the dismissal of his petition. The justices reverse that order because the circuit court decided the petition without conducting an evidentiary hearing to resolve a factual question.


Shall goes down again

The court issued an order on Tuesday that addresses the use of the troublesome word shall in the rules relating to attorney-disciplinary proceedings. That, at least, is what the State Bar’s press release promises. But when I searched the new rule for the word shall, I got zero entries. There are, however, 331 uses of the word must, so that’s probably what’s going on here.


June session docket looms

The Supreme Court will convene the week of June 5-9 for the fourth session of the year. The argument docket should be out any time now, and we’ll see how full it is. Judging by the writs granted in February, I’m guessing we’ll have five appeals that week. The court may take up all five in one day, or break the docket into two days.

In the first three sessions of this year, the justices entertained oral argument in just 15 granted cases – four in January, eight in March, and three last month. If my guess about June is right, then with only two more sessions left to go, only twenty appeals will have been argued on the merits in 2023. And the September session might only have one case on it, based on the single writ grant in the April writ panels. We are in historically low territory.