What Can We Infer From Chief Justice Karmeier’s Question Patterns in Criminal Cases?

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Last week, we looked at what can be inferred from the patterns of Chief Justice Karmeier’s questions in civil cases between 2008 and 2016.  This week, we look at the Chief Justice’s questioning in criminal cases.

In Table 497, we report the data for the Chief’s patterns when voting in the majority.  Like most appellate judges, the Chief Justice questions the losing side more heavily in affirmances.  In such cases, he averages 2.01 questions to appellants and only 0.68 to appellees.  Writing the majority opinion has an impact – when writing for the Court, he averages five questions to appellants and 1.6 to appellees.  When not writing at all, the Chief Justice averages 1.56 questions to appellants and 0.54 to appellees.

He also averages more questions to the losing party in reversals.  When joining the majority in a reversal, he averages 1.92 questions to appellees, 1.04 to appellees.  When writing the majority opinion, the Chief’s average for appellees jumps to 4.48 questions per argument, and his average for appellants to 3.15.  The Chief Justice writes comparatively few special concurrences in criminal cases – one in affirmances, two in reversals.  When not writing an opinion in a reversal, the Chief Justice averages 0.58 questions to appellants, 1.42 to appellees.

Table 497

The Chief Justice is relatively seldom in the minority in criminal cases.  When he is, he averages more questions to the party he’s voting against rather than the party who will ultimately win.  When in the minority of an affirmance, the Chief Justice averages 1.5 questions to appellees and one to appellants.  When writing a dissent, the Chief Justice asks even more questions of the party he’s voting against – three questions per argument to appellees.  When not writing and voting in the minority of an affirmance, the Chief averages 1.33 questions to appellants, 1 to appellees.

When in the minority of a reversal, the Chief Justice averages four questions to appellants, none to appellees.  The Chief Justice hasn’t written a dissent in any of the cases where he was in the minority of a reversal.

Table 498

Join us back here tomorrow as we continue our analysis of the Chief Justice’s question patterns in criminal cases.

Image courtesy of Flickr by H. Michael Miley (no changes).

What Can We Infer When Chief Justice Karmeier Asks the First Question in Civil Cases?

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Yesterday, we began our analysis of the Chief Justice’s question patterns in civil cases from 2008 through 2016.  Today, we address the Chief Justice’s patterns in criminal cases.

When voting with the majority in an affirmance, the Chief Justice begins the questioning of appellants in 13.68% of cases.  There’s a 12.63% chance he’ll ask the first question of appellees. Writing the majority opinion has a substantial impact on his patterns for the losing party.  When writing the majority, the Chief Justice asks the first question of appellants a third of the time, but of appellees in only 16.67% of cases.  When not writing an opinion in an affirmance, the Chief Justice asks the first question of appellants in 9.33% of cases, and of appellees in 10.67%.

When voting with the majority in a reversal, there’s an 11.52% chance that the Chief Justice will ask the first question of appellants, and a 5.45% chance he’ll begin with appellees.  Writing the majority impact has a major impact; in such cases, there’s a 22.22% chance that the Chief Justice will ask the first question of appellants, and a 14.81% chance that he’ll begin with appellees. When the Chief Justice is not writing an opinion and votes with the majority in a reversal, he asks the first question of appellants in 9.56% of cases, and of appellees in 2.94%.

Table 495

Chief Justice Karmeier very seldom asks the first question when he’s in the minority of a civil case.  When in the minority of an affirmance, he’s asked the first question of appellants in only 11.11% of cases.  He’s never led off against the appellees.  Writing a dissent has no impact at all.  In the six cases that he’s dissented in writing from an affirmance, he’s never led off the questioning against either side.  When in the minority of a reversal, the Chief Justice asks the first question of appellants in 28.57% of cases.  He has never asked the first question of appellees.  In the two cases when the Chief Justice has written a dissent from a reversal, the Chief Justice has never asked the first question of either side.

Table 496

Join us back here next Tuesday as we look at Chief Justice Karmeier’s question patterns in criminal cases

Image courtesy of Flickr by David Ohmer (no changes).

What Can We Infer From Chief Justice Karmeier’s Question Patterns in Civil Cases?

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For the past two weeks, we’ve been reviewing Justice Thomas’ question patterns in oral arguments since 2008, and whether it’s possible to infer his likely vote and whether he’s writing an opinion.  This week, we turn to Chief Justice Karmeier’s patterns in civil cases.

Chief Justice Karmeier has voted with the majority in 95 cases since 2008 for which the oral argument video is posted on the Court’s website.  He wrote the majority opinion in 18 of those cases, and wrote special concurrences in two.  Overall, he asks slightly more questions to the appellants, the losing parties: 1.62 to appellants, 1.19 to appellees.  Writing the majority opinion has a substantial effect.  For appellants, he averages 3.11 questions, and he averages 3.06 questions to appellees.  When he’s not writing but votes with the majority in affirmances, he averages 1.15 questions to appellants, but only 0.73 per argument to appellees.

Chief Justice Karmeier has voted with the majority in 165 reversals in civil cases since 2008.  Overall, he averages slightly more questions to the losing party in such cases – 1.3 to appellants, 1.44 to appellees.  Once again, writing the majority opinion has a substantial impact.  When he’s writing the majority, the Chief Justice averages 2.93 questions to appellants and 2.85 to appellees.  When Chief Justice Karmeier isn’t writing but votes with the majority in a reversal, he averages only 0.99 questions to appellants, but 1.15 to appellees.

Table 493

Between 2008 and 2016, the Chief Justice was in the minority in nine affirmances and seven reversals in civil cases.  When in the minority of an affirmance, he averaged 0.89 questions to appellants, 0.56 to appellees.  Writing a dissent has only a minimal effect.  When the Chief Justice wrote a dissent, he averaged one question to appellants and 0.83 to appellees.  When in the minority of a reversal, Chief Justice Karmeier averaged 1.43 questions to appellants and only 0.14 to appellees.  On the two occasions when he dissented from a reversal, he asked no questions at all.

Table 494

Join us back here tomorrow as we analyze Chief Justice Karmeier’s patterns in criminal cases.

Image courtesy of Flickr by David (no changes).

What Can We Infer When Justice Thomas Asks the First Question in a Criminal Case?

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Yesterday, we analyzed whether it’s possible to infer Justice Thomas’ vote and whether or not he’s writing an opinion based upon the pattern of his questions in criminal cases.  Today, we look at whether it’s more likely that Justice Thomas will ask the first question in criminal cases, based upon his vote and whether he’s writing.

When voting in the majority of an affirmance, there’s a 48.7% chance that Justice Thomas will ask the first question of appellant, and a 22.73% chance that he’ll ask the first question of the appellee.  Writing the majority opinion has an impact – when writing the majority, there’s a 60% chance he’ll ask the first question of appellants and a 30% chance that he’ll ask the first question of appellees.  When not writing in an affirmance, there’s a 45.53% chance that Justice Thomas will ask the first question of appellants and a 21.13% chance that he will lead off against appellees.

When voting in the majority of a reversal, there’s a 33.73% chance that Justice Thomas will ask the first question of appellants and a 34.94% chance that he’ll lead off against the appellees.  When writing the majority opinion, there’s a 47.83% chance that he’ll lead off with the appellants, and a 52.17% chance that he’ll ask the first question of appellees.  When not writing an opinion, there’s a 32.12% chance that Justice Thomas will ask the first question, both of the appellant and the appellee.

Table 491

When voting in the minority of an affirmance, there’s a 20% chance that Justice Thomas will ask the first question of the appellants or the appellees.  When writing a dissent in such cases, there’s a 33.33% chance that Justice Thomas will ask the first question of appellants or appellees.  When voting in the minority of a reversal, there’s a 37.5% chance that Justice Thomas will ask the first question of appellants and a 25% chance that he’ll ask the first question of appellees.  When writing a dissent in such cases, there’s a 60% chance that Justice Thomas will ask the first question of appellants and a 20% chance that he’ll lead off against appellees.

Table 492

Join us back here next Tuesday as we begin our look at Chief Justice Karmeier’s record in civil cases.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Adam Moss (no changes).

What Can We Infer From Justice Thomas’ Question Patterns in Criminal Cases?

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Last week, we analyzed the pattern of Justice Thomas’ questions in oral arguments in civil cases.  This week, we address Justice Thomas’ patterns in criminal cases.

When Justice Thomas is in the majority, he questions the losing side more heavily than the party which will lose the case.  Justice Thomas has written the majority opinion in thirty of 154 affirmances.  He averages 5.87 questions to appellants and 1.69 questions to appellees in affirmances.  Justice Thomas has written the majority opinion in 87 of 508 criminal reversals.  He averages 3.06 questions to appellants and 4.53 questions to appellees.

Writing the majority opinion impacts Justice Thomas’ patterns in criminal affirmances.  When writing the majority opinion, Justice Thomas averages 7.97 questions to appellants and 2.17 questions to appellees.  When not writing an opinion, Justice Thomas averages 5.4 questions to appellants and 1.56 questions to appellees.

Writing the majority opinion also impacts Justice Thomas’ patterns in criminal reversals.  Justice Thomas averages 3.78 questions to appellants and 6.04 questions of appellees.  When not writing an opinion in a reversal, Justice Thomas averages 2.9 questions to appellants and 4.46 questions to appellees.

Table 489

Justice Thomas has been in the minority of criminal cases in only a scattered few criminal cases.  He has voted in the minority of five affirmances and eight reversals.  Justice Thomas has averaged more questions to the party he voted against than the party who lost the case when voting in the minority.  When voting in the minority of affirmances, Justice Thomas has averaged 0.6 questions to appellants and 4.2 questions to appellees.  When writing a dissent, Justice Thomas has averaged 1 question to appellants and 4.67 to appellees.

Justice Thomas has averaged 4.125 questions to appellants when voting in the minority of reversals, and 1.625 questions of appellees.  When not writing an opinion and voting in the minority of a reversal, Justice Thomas had averaged 5.33 questions to appellants and 3.67 questions to appellees.

Table 490

Join us here tomorrow as we continue our analysis of Justice Thomas’ patterns in criminal cases.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Matt Watts (no changes).

 

What Can We Infer When Justice Thomas Asks the First Question in a Civil Case?

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Yesterday, we analyzed whether we can infer Justice Thomas’ votes and whether or not he’s writing an opinion based upon the pattern of his questions at oral arguments in civil cases.  Today, we ask a different question – when Justice Thomas asks the first question in a civil case, does it mean he’s writing the opinion?

When Justice Thomas is voting with the majority in an affirmance, there’s a 56.64% chance he’ll ask the first question of appellants, and a 34.51% chance he’ll ask the first question of appellees.  When he’s not writing an opinion, there’s a 53.76% chance he’ll ask the first question of appellants, and a 34.41% chance he’ll ask the first question of appellees.

When Justice Thomas is in the majority of a reversal, there’s a 44.72% chance he’ll ask the first question of appellants and a 47.83% chance for appellees.  Writing the majority opinion has a significant impact; when he’s in the majority, there’s 53.85% chance he’ll ask the first question of appellants and a 69.23% that he’ll ask the first question of appellees.  When Justice Thomas isn’t writing an opinion, there’s a 43.28% chance that he’ll ask the first question, both for appellants and appellees.

Table 487

When Justice Thomas was in the minority of an affirmance, there was a 60% chance that he’d ask the first question of appellants, and a one-third chance that he’d ask the first question of appellees.  When Justice Thomas was not writing a dissent while voting with the minority of an affirmance, there was a 50% chance that he’d ask the first question of appellants, and a 25% chance that he’d ask the first question of appellees.

When Justice Thomas voted in the minority of a reversal, there was a 50% chance that he’d ask the first question of appellants.  He never asked the first question of appellees under such circumstances.  The data was the same when Justice Thomas wrote a dissent, and when he didn’t write – there was a 50% chance that Justice Thomas would ask the first question of appellants, and a 0% chance for the appellees.

Table 488

Join us back here next Tuesday as we turn our attention to Justice Thomas’ patterns in oral arguments in criminal cases.

Image courtesy of Flickr by VXLA (no changes).

What Can We Infer From Justice Thomas’ Question Patterns in Civil Cases?

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Last week, we completed our two-week examination of Justice Kilbride’s patterns in oral arguments for civil and criminal cases between 2008 and 2016.  Today, we begin our examination of Justice Thomas’ patterns.

In Table 485, we report the data on Justice Thomas’ question patterns when voting in the majority.  Both when the Court affirms and reverses, Justice Thomas follows the common pattern of questioning the losing party more heavily.  In 113 affirmances, Justice Thomas has averaged 5.83 questions to appellants and 2.31 to appellees.  In 161 reversals, he’s averaged 4.06 questions to appellants, but 5.71 to appellees.

Writing the majority opinion has the most effect on Justice Thomas’ questioning of the losing party.  In affirmances, Justice Thomas’ average questions to appellants jumps to 6.39 when he’s writing the majority.  Justice Thomas actually averages slightly fewer questions to appellees when he’s writing the majority opinion, averaging 1.94 per argument.  When Justice Thomas writes the majority opinion in a reversal, he averages 7.65 questions to appellees and 4.58 to appellants.  The sample size is negligible for special concurrences – two in affirmances, one in reversals.  When Justice Thomas isn’t writing, he averages 5.74 questions to appellants in an affirmance and 2.42 questions to appellees.  He averages 3.99 questions to appellants in reversals, but 5.34 to appellees.

Table 485

In Table 486, we report the data for cases in which Justice Thomas voted in the minority.  There have been very (very) few – only five civil cases argued in which Justice Thomas was in the minority of an affirmance, and only six where he voted in the minority of a reversal.  Writing a dissent had virtually no impact.  When voting in the minority of an affirmance, Justice Thomas averaged 4.2 questions to appellants, 5 to appellees overall.  When writing a dissent, he averaged four questions to each side.  When not writing and voting in the minority of an affirmance, Justice Thomas averaged 4.25 questions to appellants, 5.25 to appellees.

When in the minority of a reversal, Justice Thomas averaged 11.5 questions to appellants, 0.5 to appellees (note that in both of these cases, he tends to question the side he’s voting against more heavily, not the side which will ultimately lose the case).  When writing a dissent in such cases, Justice Thomas averages 11.75 questions to appellants, 0.75 to appellees.  When not writing, he averages 11 questions to appellants and none to appellees.

Table 486

Join us back here tomorrow as we take a look at what we can infer when Justice Thomas asks the first question in a civil case.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Village of Oak Lawn (no changes).

What Can We Infer When Justice Kilbride Asks the First Question in Criminal Cases?

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Yesterday, we analyzed whether it’s possible, based on all oral arguments in criminal cases between 2009 and 2016, to infer from watching Justice Kilbride’s question patterns in criminal cases how he’s voting, and whether he’s writing an opinion.   Today, we ask the same question based on whether or not Justice Kilbride asks the first question.

The short answer is Justice Kilbride virtually never leads off the Court’s questions.  When Justice Kilbride is in the majority of an affirmance in a criminal case, there’s a 2.13% chance he’ll ask the first question of appellants.  He’s never asked the first question of appellees in such cases.  Writing has an impact; when he’s writing the majority opinion in such cases, Justice Kilbride has asked the first question of appellants in 6.25% of cases.  He hasn’t asked the first question to either side in the three affirmances where he’s written a special concurrence.  In the affirmances where he hasn’t written an opinion, Justice Kilbride has averaged 1.64 questions to appellants.

In the 167 cases where Justice Kilbride has voted in the majority of a reversal, he’s averaged 3.59 questions to appellants and 1.8 questions to appellees.  He’s averaged 4 questions per argument to appellants in cases where he wrote the majority opinion, and 4 questions to appellees.  When he’s not writing, he’s averaged 3.6 questions to appellants, and 1.45 questions to appellees.

Table 483

When Justice Kilbride votes with the minority in criminal cases, he asks the first question of appellants 20% of the time.  He hasn’t asked the first question of appellees in any such cases.  He’s asked the first question of appellants in 50% of the cases where he’s written a dissent, but hasn’t led off questioning in any case where he hasn’t written.  Justice Kilbride hasn’t asked the first question in any criminal case where he voted in the minority of a reversal in a criminal case.

Table 484

Join us back here next Tuesday as we continue our analysis of the Court’s oral arguments.

Image courtesy of Flickr by David Wilson (no changes).

What Can We Infer From Justice Kilbride’s Question Patterns in Criminal Cases?

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Last week, we analyzed the pattern of Justice Kilbride’s questions in oral arguments in civil cases, asking whether it’s possible to infer who Justice Kilbride will vote for and whether or not he’s writing an opinion.  This week, we do the same for the Court’s criminal cases between 2008 and 2016.

Overall, Justice Kilbride has voted with the majority in 141 criminal affirmances for the nine years we’re studying.  In sixteen of those cases, he wrote the Court’s opinion.  In a further three, he wrote a concurrence.  For these cases, he tends to question the losing party more closely (although Justice Kilbride typically doesn’t ask many questions), averaging 0.57 questions per argument to appellants, and 0.28 questions to appellees.  He questions appellants a bit more heavily when he’s writing the majority opinion – 0.81 questions per argument – but his questioning to appellees is actually a bit lighter in such cases, averaging 0.13.  Justice Kilbride asked no questions of anyone in the three affirmances where he wrote a concurrence.  In cases where he’s not writing an opinion, Justice Kilbride has averaged 0.55 questions of appellants and 0.31 of appellees.

Justice Kilbride has voted with the majority in 167 reversals in criminal cases.  He wrote the majority opinion in 25 of those cases, and wrote special concurrences in four.  Overall, he tends to question the losing party more heavily in such cases.  He averages 0.39 questions of appellants and 0.66 questions of appellees.  When he’s writing the majority opinion, he’s more active with respect to both sides, averaging 0.8 question to appellants and 0.96 to appellees.  Once again, he’s asked no questions at all when he wrote a concurrence.  In the 138 cases where Justice Kilbride wasn’t writing an opinion, he averaged 0.33 questions to appellants and 0.62 to appellees.

Table 481

Like most of the Justices, Justice Kilbride hasn’t dissented much in criminal cases.  Overall, he’s dissented from affirmances in ten cases between 2008 and 2016.  In four of those ten cases, he wrote a dissent.  Overall, when dissenting from an affirmance, Justice Kilbride has questioned the side he’s voting against, rather than the side who’ll wind up losing, a bit more heavily.  He’s averaged 0.7 questions per argument to appellants and 1.4 to appellees.  Writing has an impact in these cases – when writing a dissent, he’s averaged 1 question per argument to appellants and 3.5 to appellees.  When not writing, he averages 2.17 questions to appellants, none to appellees.

There’ve been only five criminal cases in nine years where Justice Kilbride dissented from a reversal.  Overall, Justice Kilbride has averaged 1 questions to appellants, 0.2 to appellees.  Writing has had no consistent effect; he’s averaged 0.5 questions per side to both appellants and appellees in the two cases where he’s written a dissent.  When he’s not writing, Justice Kilbride has averaged 1.33 questions to appellants and zero to appellees.

Table 482

Join us back here tomorrow as we continue our analysis of the Court’s oral arguments.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Roger W. (no changes).

What Can We Infer When Justice Kilbride Asks the First Question in Civil Cases?

4865734246_9035b84ae2_zYesterday, we asked whether we can infer anything about Justice Kilbride’s vote and whether he’s writing an opinion, based on the pattern of his questions in oral argument.  Today, we ask a slightly different question – can we infer anything from whether or not Justice Kilbride asks the first question in a civil case?

Justice Kilbride has asked the first question when he’s in the majority of an affirmance 10.42% of the time for appellants, but only 3.13% of time for appellees.  Writing the majority opinion has had no predictable impact.  When writing the majority, Justice Kilbride has asked the first question of both appellants and appellees in 7.69% of cases.  In cases where he hasn’t written an opinion, Justice Kilbride has asked the first question of appellants in 10.84% of cases, and the first question of appellees in 2.41% of cases.

Where Justice Kilbride has been with the majority of a reversal, he has asked the first question of appellants in 10.42% of cases, and of appellees in 8.33% of cases.  Justice Kilbride has written majority opinion in sixteen such cases, averaging first questions in 18.75% of cases, both for appellants and appellees.  When Justice Kilbride hasn’t written, he’s asked the first question of appellants in 9.52% of cases, and has asked the first question of appellees in 7.14% of cases.

Table 479

We report the data in Table 480 for Justice Kilbride’s asking the first question when he’s voting in the minority of a civil case.

The bottom line is when Justice Kilbride is in the minority of a civil case, he very seldom asks the first question of either side.  When voting in the minority of an affirmance, he asks the first question of appellants in 6.67% of cases, but he’s never asked the first question of an appellee.  He’s written dissents from affirmances in nine cases, but has never led off the questioning in any of those cases.  In cases where he hasn’t written an opinion, he asks the first question of appellants in 16.67% of cases, but has never led off the questioning of appellees.

Justice Kilbride has been in the minority of a civil reversal in 22 cases.  He’s written a dissent in 15 of those cases.  Overall, he asks the first question of appellants in 6.67% of cases where he’s in the minority of an affirmance.  He’s never asked the first question of an appellee, or of either side in a dissent.   When not writing an opinion, he’s asked the first question of appellants 16.67% of the time when in the minority of an affirmance, and has never asked the first question of appellees.

When Justice Kilbride is in the minority of a reversal, he asks the first question of appellants in 4.45% of cases, and of appellees in 9.09% of cases.  When he’s writing a dissent, he asks the first question of appellants in 6.67% of cases, and of appellees in 13.33% of cases.

Table 480

Join us back here next Tuesday as we turn our attention to Justice Kilbride’s performance in criminal cases.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Bert Kaufmann (no changes).

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