Over the last six years, CA3’s use of visiting judges — any judge who’s not a Third Circuit judge — has plummeted:
In raw numbers, visiting judges in 2008 sat on CA3 appeals 443 times; by 2013, they sat only 72 times.
Here is how the Third Circuit compares to the other circuits for 2013:
So CA3 (orange bar) is now at the low end, but CA5 and CA10 are even lower–and CADC used no visiting judges in 2013, for the 5th year in a row.
So the Third Circuit is using fewer visiting judges than it did, but why? It’s not due to fewer appeals. This chart below shows how many times a judge was assigned to a Third Circuit merits panel per year:
So judge-assignments in the circuit are rising, not dropping. The difference is that active CA3 judges are filling a lot more slots now: about 5,000 in 2008, over 6,500 in 2013.
So I don’t have an explanation, but the bottom line is more Third Circuit cases are getting decided by active Third Circuit judges.
Source: AOC Federal court management statistics, 9/13 / case participations