Today, we’re looking at the amicus filing data on criminal cases for the years 2005 through 2020.
Just as in our earlier period, amicus briefs were few and far between in criminal cases. None were filed in 2005, 2007-2008, 2010 or 2016. Four percent had extra briefs in 2006. That rose to six percent in 2011 and a bit higher the following year (to 6.06%), but fell for several years after that. In 2017, 21.43% of criminal cases drew at least one amicus brief. That fell to 7.69% in 2018 and 4.76% in 2019, but rose a bit to 10.71% last year.
In addition to the years listed above for which no amicus briefs were filed for either side, appellants got no extra briefs in 2009 and 2014-2015. They averaged 0.06 briefs in 2011 and 0.03 additional briefs a year later. Briefs exploded in 2017, and the average per case for appellants was up to 0.5, but that adjusted the year following to 0.04 in 2018, 0.05 in 2019 and 0.04 in 2020.
In addition to the years listed above of no briefs at all, there were no amicus briefs supporting appellees in 2011, 2013, 2017 or 2019. Appellees averaged 0.04 additional briefs in 2006 and 0.06 in 2012. There was a one-year spike in 2014 to 0.21 briefs per case, but the number settled back to trend level after that – 0.03 in 2015, 0.04 in 2018 and 0.07 in 2020.
Join us back here next week as we continue our exploration of amicus filing trends.