SCOTUS case reversal rates (2007 – Present)

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The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) issued opinions in 74 cases during its October 2017 term. It reversed 52 lower court decisions (70.3 percent) and affirmed 19 (the remaining three cases were original jurisdiction). This term’s reversal rate was slightly higher than the average rate of reversal since 2007 (70.1 percent). Fifteen of the October 2017 term cases originated in the Ninth Circuit, twice as many as from any other circuit. It also had 12 cases reversed, more than any other lower court in the term, and the most since 2012.

In June 2018, The Washington Times said the circuit had a reputation as “the most out-of-touch circuit.”[1] Since 2007, the Ninth Circuit had a reversal rate of 75.5 percent. That puts it in fourth place behind the Sixth Circuit (88.1 percent), Eighth Circuit (76.3 percent), and Eleventh Circuit(75.9 percent). The circuit with the lowest rate of overturned decisions is the First Circuit at 43.5 percent.

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