[The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has] national jurisdiction over patent and customs appeals, appeals from the Merit Systems Protection Board, and claims against the government. Inasmuch as cases decided by the [Federal Circuit] will not ordinarily present a conflict with another circuit's holdings, [the Supreme] Court has fewer occasions to grant certiorari simply to resolve a circuit conflict. Our acceptance of a case for plenary review from the [Federal Circuit] is more likely to be based on a serious concern about the correctness of the appellate court's ruling, rather than merely a concern about conflicting circuit rulings. No doubt, this helps explain why a much higher percentage of the cases we do review from the [Federal Circuit] result in reversals than would otherwise be the case.
Sandra Day O'Connor, The Majesty of the Law 130 (Craig Joyce ed., 2003).