Did Online Resources Help Cause A Decline in the Supreme Court's Docket?:
According to the Associated Press, Chief Justice Roberts delivered remarks at the Alaska Bar Association annual convention that included an interesting theory for what has contributed to the decline in the Supreme Court's docket in recent years: thanks to on-line resources, lawyers and lower courts can find existing lower court precedents more easily, resulting in fewer circuit splits for the Supreme Court to resolve. The AP story doesn't give the details of the argument — it only has a sentence on it — but the idea seems plausible to me. It's much easier to find relevant lower court caselaw on Westlaw or LexisNexis than it was to find those cases using just the books. That may mean that lawyers and law clerks are more likely to find the right cases, circuit courts and state supreme courts are more likely to consider them, and the law is more likely to end up being uniform across different jurisdictions. Thanks to How Appealing for the link.