The Shadow Docket and the Rocket Docket: Losing Fast and Slow
In September, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Ramirez v. Collier, and set a super-expedited briefing schedule. At the time, I wrote “the Justices moved a capital case from the shadow docket to the rocket docket.” I think I was the first person to use the phrase “rocket docket” in the context. Over the past four months, the term has caught on, as the Justices have chosen to accelerate several cases rather than decide them summarily. In addition to Ramirez, the Court placed the S.B. 8 cases on the rocket docket. And the COVID mandate cases were given similar treatment. Here, the Justices have demonstrated that they can resolve high-profile cases in a very short-time frame. In my view, this experiment has been something of a success.
Now, how did we get here? I think the Court launched the rocket d
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