Where the magic happens

Yesterday, I posted my own diatribe to counter the latest press release issued by Texas Watch, but noted at the end of my post that I was most concerned about the publication of the number of per curiam opinions issued per Justice by the Office of Court Administration (OCA).

Well, the OCA was kind enough to clarify for me the history of this practice which largely assuages my original concern–for whatever that’s worth.

The collection and publication of this per curiam data is hardly new, having been annually compiled for some twenty-seven years since OCA first began tracking the number of per curiam decisions issued by each Justice as early as 1981. Moreover, the OCA specifically sought input from SCOTX in both 2004 and 2006 regarding the contents of the OCA’s annual report, and the Court expressed no concern regarding publication of the per curiam statistics.

The OCA was also correct to point out that the identity of the opinions enumerated in the statistics is kept confidential, with only the number of opinions issued per chamber being made public.

So, at the end of the day, I am likely the only person to whom this one column of data jumped out as being slightly odd. Moreover, if neither the Court nor the OCA are troubled by the practice, than it is certainly beyond my purview to be.

Thx to the OCA for accurately, annually, and faithfully reporting the current statistical state of the Texas judiciary

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