We have previously reported about the Sixth Circuit’s recent “losing streak” at the U.S. Supreme Court as well as subsequent continued reversals by the Court.  The broader issue of reversal rates by the U.S. Supreme Court was the subject of a recent article by the Los Angeles Times.  While the article focused on the Ninth Circuit and its well-publicized reversal rate, some of the numbers from the past term are instructive.  The article notes that the Supreme Court generally reverses about 75% of the cases that it hears, and over the past term the Sixth Circuit led the reversal percentage with 83%, followed by the Fifth Circuit with 80%, the Ninth with 79%, and the Second with 75%.  What differentiates the Ninth from those other four circuits is a substantially higher number of rulings that were reviewed by the Court.  The article also focused on the notion that the “liberal” judges on the Ninth Circuit are most often the targets of reversal by the Supreme Court.  As we previously discussed, it is far too simplistic to use such a portrayal at the Sixth Circuit.  Many of the panels that were reversed by the Supreme Court include some or a majority of Republican appointees, and many of the panels were “bipartisan.”  That suggests that the reversals are not simply the product of ideological disagreement, at least when it comes to the Sixth Circuit.  And indeed, if the overall reversal rate is around 75%, it suggests that the Court is reversing decisions across the ideological spectrum.  And this lends support to the notion that the well-publicized “losing streak” by the Sixth Circuit is simply not statistically significant.  Indeed, the L.A. Times article quotes U.C. Irvine Dean Erwin Chemerinsky (who happens to give a great discussion each year at the Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference on the past term by the U.S. Supreme Court), who remarked that “reversal rates have no meaning whatsoever.”  It calls to mind a quote by one of my favorite all-time justices, Robert Jackson: “We are not final because we are infallible, but we are infallible only because we are final.”