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Elwood Talks the U.S. Supreme Court’s Recent Unanimity in Decisions

May 13, 2024

John Elwood, head of the firm's Appellate and Supreme Court practice, was quoted in the Bloomberg Law article, “Supreme Court Achieves Historic Unanimity but Tougher Cases Loom,” and featured on the publication’s podcast episode, “SCOTUS Unanimous for Now & Stormy's Cross.” Elwood discussed the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent unanimity in its rulings and what it might mean for the other cases still to be decided in the court’s 2024 term.

Fifteen of the Supreme Court’s 18 rulings in 2024 have been decided unanimously. While the number of unanimous opinions is slightly higher than most years, “it’s not unusual for the court’s early decisions each term to be disproportionately unanimous,” Elwood told Bloomberg Law, because “separate writings tend to slow down release and thus tend to come later.” This could be because the court expects that their upcoming decisions could be “seriously divided,” he said.

Elwood also said that the court may have a disproportionate amount of unanimous decisions thus far because several were decided narrowly, including several rulings that left many decisions for the lower courts on remand. “There are a handful of cases where decisions may have been unanimous because they were decided unusually narrowly,” he said.

Read the Bloomberg Law article, “Supreme Court Achieves Historic Unanimity but Tougher Cases Loom” (subscription required).

Listen to the Bloomberg Law podcast episode, “SCOTUS Unanimous for Now & Stormy's Cross.”