Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Nearing the End o' Term

The October 2021 Term of Court at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces ends at midnight, Friday, September 30, 2022. Thus far, the court has handed down decisions in only 25 cases decided on full opinion. All argued cases have been decided, according to the data on the court's website. It is possible -- but highly unlikely -- that one or more additional cases arising on motion, petition for extraordinary writ, or writ-appeal petition will be the subject of a published opinion in the next two days,* but the Term is almost certainly a done deal.

This year's tally equals the record low set two Terms ago. Over the last decade, the number of cases decided on full opinion hit a high of 41 in the October 2016 Term.

As of today, the court has incurred obligations of $13,067,417, with $3,496,723 of available funding still unobligated, according to government data. Leaving aside the petition and other dockets, which of course account for a portion of the court's resources, this comes to $522,696.68 per case.

With the end of the Term, the court will have been operating for 14 months with only four full-time judges due to the Senate's continuing inexcusable failure to act on the nomination of Senior Judge Scott W. Stucky's successor, Col. (ret) M. Tia Johnson. During that time, the court has called upon its numerous senior judges to fill out the bench for cases in which discretionary review has been granted, but it has not called upon them to function on whether to grant review, a failure that disadvantages petitioners. Denial of a petition for grant of review precludes access to the Supreme Court of the United States.

* Oct. 1 Postscript: there were none. On to the October 2022 Term . . . 

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