As is well known, the historic diocese of South Carolina filed an appeal to the US Supreme Court known as a Petition for Writ of Certiorari dated February 9. 2018 (if needed, further links can be found here and there). As is part of this process the respondent may file a response within the normally allotted time of 30 days ‘but is not mandatory except in a capital case.’ Sometimes, however, the US Supreme Court may order the respondents to do so.
A S Haley explains that exactly this order has come from the US Supreme Court:
The Supreme Court has ordered the respondents — ECUSA and ECSC — to file a brief in response to the petition by March 29. This means that the Court did not want to act on the petition before hearing from both sides. (Ordinarily, a respondent in the Supreme Court has the option of waiving the filing of a response to a petition for certiorari [review]. But not this time.)
With respondents’ brief due on March 29, any reply brief from the petitioners will be filed by April 9, and the Justices could consider the petition at one of their Friday conferences on April 20 or 27. If the respondents ask for an extension of time, this sequence will stretch out by thirty days or more.]
You can find the page concerning these matters on the US Supreme Court website there.
(Readers interested in all the rules involved in a Petition for Writ of Certiorari may go to Part III here and examine rules 10-16).
A S Haley: Supreme Court Orders new Episcopal Church Diocese in South Carolina and TEC to respond to Historic Diocese of #SouthCarolina’s Petition for Writ of Certiorari https://t.co/7609K0wXes #law #religion #episcopalchurch #usa #religiousfreedom #history pic.twitter.com/yv8ClW9uc7
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) February 28, 2018