FACT: Chief Justice John Roberts said in a speech on Friday that he will increase the number of cases heard by the Supreme Court from two a day to three during the coming term beginning in October, according to an AP account of his speech. Roberts says that if the busier fall schedule lightens the caseload by next spring, he may be able to cut back then.
ANALYSIS: When Roberts became Chief Justice in 2005, some Court observers wondered whether the younger Chief would begin burdening his colleagues with more work, increasing the Court’s caseload by granting more cases. Now it looks like he may attack the issue in a slightly different way, hoping to cut a swath through the caseload issue with a burst of activity but not necessarily more cases overall.
Friday, the affable Roberts pointed out that the increase to three arguments each court day might put a strain on the Solicitor General’s Office, since it saddles the burden of arguing the federal government’s side in most of the cases. But Roberts also pointed out that it’ll mean more work for the journalists who cover the Court – a small but tenacious crowd who like to pass judgment on the Court and its performance regularly. Roberts then joked: “After careful reflection, I decided I didn’t care.”
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