The Supreme Court gets to pick what cases it hears — and land is on the court’s mind lately.
Thousands of requests for cases are received every year by the Supreme Court. Each sitting justice has a crew of law clerks reading each request (called a petition or writ of certiorari) and these clerks compile memos about each case. The justices read these memos, meet and vote, and if four of the nine agree to hear a case, then it is placed on the docket. If enough justices don’t feel particularly compelled to hear a case, then the lower court’s judgement stands.