Supreme Court Statistics for the 2022-23 Term

What better date to present statistics from the 2022-23 Supreme Court Term than the first working day (for many people) of this new calendar year? And who better to have compiled those statistics than Joe Fischetti, whose Twitter (now X) feed this blog previously recommended? A hobby of Joe’s is to collect and analyze these statistics. His report can be found in full here. Here are some of the highlights.

While the Court in most years reaches unanimous decisions in most cases, the 2022-23 Term was especially harmonious. In only barely 8% of all cases was the Court not unanimous. Among other things, that speaks to the collegiality of the members of the Court and their ability to reach consensus. This stands in stark contrast to the unfortunate tendency of the Supreme Court of the United States to divide more frequently and often along partisan lines.

Grants of certification comprised 79% of the Court’s docket during the 2022-23 Term, while 21% of the matters that reached the Court did so on motion for leave to appeal. Criminal cases made up the largest part of the Court’s docket, 57%, with civil, administrative, and family matters representing 32%, 8%, and 4%, respectively.

The Court’s opinions were spread nearly evenly among those who sat during all or most of the Term. Justice Patterson authored eight opinions, Justice Fasciale and Judge Sabatino each wrote seven, Chief Justice Rabner and Justices Pierre-Louis and Wainer Apter penned six, and Justice Solomon wrote five opinions. Of the three concurring opinions issued during the Term, Justice Pierre-Louis wrote two and Judge Accurso authored one. The four dissenting opinions written during the Term were by Justice Pierre-Louis, who had two, and Justices Solomon and Fasciale, each with one. There was only one 4-3 decision, two 5-2 rulings, and one 4-2 result, in which the two dissenters dissented only in part.

In terms of affirmances and reversals, reversals accounted for 33% of the Court’s rulings during 2022-23. Affirmances accounted for 45%, with affirmances in full representing 17% of the total and affirmances as modified coming in at 28%. A small number, 6%, entailed affirmances in part and reversals in part. The remainder of the cases involved vacation of certification as improvidently granted, remands of different types, and vacation of rulings below.

There are many other things to learn from this compilation. They include (without listing everything) the rates of agreement among different pairs of members of the Court, how each Appellate Division judge’s opinions fared on review by the Court, and the makeup of those who argued before the Court. There is also an extensive series of charts about the history of the Court, including the names and dates of service of all who have sat on the Court, a list of all Appellate Division judges who have sat temporarily on the Court, the Court’s partisan balance, and more.

All those who are interested in the Supreme Court of New Jersey owe Joe Fischetti a debt of gratitude for assembling this information. Thanks, Joe!