Lagniappe adds comments from Court Clerk Robert Esdale:
Court Clerk Robert Esdale said the length of time in disposing of cases has become an issue for the court and for Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb. He said he believes she has spoken with the other justices about their pace in rendering decisions.
“Of course (it’s a problem),” Esdale explained. “When you have an aspirational target of 290 days and one justice has an average of over 400 days, it slows things down.”
Lagniappe observes that Tom Parker takes about four times longer to dispose of cases than the average time of Justices Sue Bell Cobb, Champ Lyons, Greg Shaw, Patricia Smith, Lyn Stuart, and Tom Woodall.
According to the report, Parker takes an average of 217 days on decisions involving certiorari petitions — review of a lower court’s cases — and an average of 534 days to render original decisions after being assigned a case. By way of comparison, Justices Cobb, Champ Lyons, Woodall, Lyn Stuart, Patricia Smith and Greg Shaw together average 56 days on certiorari petitions and 129 days on original decisions. In other words, Parker’s certiorari time is 161 days longer and 405 days longer for original decisions. That is 388 percent and 414 percent longer respectively.
I think it fair to say that the frustration level in the Supreme Court has been remarkably high for us to see cases (and staff) taken from one justice (to be assigned to others) and for us to hear public comments like Esdale’s.