Bloomberg Law
October 17, 2022

Supreme Court Arguments Get Longer to the Delight of Advocates (Bloomberg Law)


US Supreme Court arguments are getting longer post-pandemic—and advocates like it. Court closures prompted the justices to modify their questioning format, and some of those changes have remained as the justices have retaken the bench. Last term, that resulted in more than 19 extra hours, equivalent to 18 extra minutes per argument and 28% more argument time overall, according to Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation partner Willy Jay, whose team kept track of court’s new questioning format. The stats for the latest sitting seem even more striking, Jay said to Bloomberg Law. The justices averaged just under 28 extra minutes per argument over October’s eight arguments, with four cases nearing two hours. Goodwin’s research shows that in “about 60% of cases, the winning side got more ‘extra time’ than the losing side.” But it also notes that the Supreme Court tends to reverse or vacate lower court opinions more often than it affirms.