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

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Over the last two weeks, we’ve reviewed Justice Freeman’s question patterns in civil and criminal cases.  This week, we’ll be reviewing Justice Kilbride’s patterns with his questioning in civil cases.

Justice Kilbride has heard oral argument in 127 cases where he voted with the majority in an affirmance.  He wrote the majority opinion in eight of those cases, but no concurrences.  Overall in affirmances, he averaged 1.32 questions of appellants to 0.84 questions to appellees.  Writing the majority opinion had no effect whatever on Justice Kilbride’s questioning.  When writing the majority, he averaged 0.62 questions to appellants and 0.69 to appellees.  When Justice Kilbride wasn’t writing an opinion, he averaged 1.43 questions to appellants and only 0.87 to appellees.

Justice Kilbride has participated in 144 cases where he joined in a reversal, writing a majority opinion in 16 of those cases and a concurrence in two.  In cases where Justice Kilbride has joined a reversal, he asked an average of 1.33 questions to appellants and 1.38 questions to appellees.  Writing the majority opinion has had some effect – he has averaged 1.75 questions to appellants and 3.88 to appellees.  Justice Freeman hasn’t had any cases where he joined a concurrence.  In reversals where he hasn’t written an opinion, Justice Kilbride has averaged 1.3 questions to appellants and 1.08 questions to appellees.

Table 477

In Table 478, we report the data on Justice Kilbride’s question patterns in civil cases where he wound up voting in the minority.  In cases where Justice Kilbride voted in the minority of an affirmance, he averaged 1.27 questions to appellants and 1.07 to appellees, averaging more questions to the party who lost the case rather than the party who lost his vote.  When Justice Kilbride wrote a dissent, he averaged fewer questions to both sides – one question to appellants, 0.44 questions to appellees.  When not writing an opinion, he averages 1.67 questions to appellants and two questions to appellees.

When Justice Kilbride is in the minority of a reversal, he once again averages more questions to the appellant than to the appellee.  He averages 1.41 questions to appellants and 0.73 questions to appellees.  Writing a dissent has a significant impact – he averages 1.73 questions to appellants, 1.07 to appellees.  When he’s not writing an opinion, he averages 0.71 questions to appellants and 0 to appellees.

Table 478

Join us back here tomorrow as we review Justice Kilbride’s history as the first questioner in civil cases.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Daniel X. O’Neil (no changes).

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

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Yesterday, we showed that unlike many of his colleagues, Justice Freeman does not tend to ask the party he’s voting against more questions at oral argument – he averages more questions to the appellants in every scenario.  Today, we ask whether we can infer that Justice Freeman is writing an opinion in cases where he asks the first question.

We report the data in Table 475 on cases in which Justice Freeman was in the majority.  In these cases, the answer to our question is no – writing an opinion does not make it noticeably more likely that Justice Freeman will ask the first question.  Overall in affirmances, Justice Freeman asks the first question of appellants in 26.27% of cases, and leads off with appellees 13.87% of the time.  When he’s writing the majority, those numbers are virtually unchanged – 27.78% on appellants, 16.67% for appellees.  When Justice Freeman is in the majority of an affirmance, but not writing an opinion, there’s a 26.72% chance he’ll ask the first question of the appellants, 13.79% for appellees.

When Justice Freeman is in the majority of a reversal, there’s a 26.97% chance he’ll ask the first question of appellants (almost identical to affirmances).  He asks the first question of appellees 19.1% of the time.  Writing the majority opinion means he’s significantly less likely to begin the questioning – 13.33% chance of leading off on the appellants and appellees.  When he’s not writing in a reversal, Justice Freeman begins the questioning of appellants in 29.41% of cases and begins with appellees 17.65% of the time.

Table 475

The data is similar when Justice Freeman is in the minority of a criminal case.  In cases where Justice Freeman is in the minority of an affirmance, there’s a 7.14% chance he’ll begin with appellants to 14.29% with appellees.  Justice Freeman wrote dissents in four criminal affirmances and didn’t ask the first question in any of them.  When in the minority of a reversal but not writing an opinion, Justice Freeman asks the first question of appellants 10% of the time, and begins with appellees 20% of the time.  When Justice Freeman is in the minority of a reversal, he asks the first question 16.67% of the time for each side.  When he’s writing a dissent, Justice Freeman has asked the first question 25% of the time for each side.

Table 476

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

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

What Can We Infer From Justice Freeman’s Question Pattern in Criminal Cases?

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Last week, we looked at the pattern of Justice Freeman’s questioning in oral arguments in civil cases, analyzing whether he tends to ask more questions of the party he will ultimately vote against, and what impact writing an opinion has on questioning.  This week, we take a look at Justice Freeman’s patterns in criminal cases.

In Table 473 below, we report the data for criminal cases in which Justice Freeman votes with the majority.  In affirmances, Justice Freeman averages 1.78 questions to appellants (the losing party), but only 1.07 to appellees.  When he is writing the majority in an affirmance, Justice Freeman questions the appellants a bit more heavily, averaging 2.67 questions, but writing has little impact on his questioning of the winning party.  Writing a concurrence has only a slight impact.  He averages 2 questions to appellants, and only 0.67 to appellees.  When not writing in an affirmance, Justice Freeman averages 1.65 questions to appellants, 1.06 to appellees.

Justice Freeman is a bit more active to both sides in a reversal where he’s in the majority.  But unlike many of the other Justices, in reversals he doesn’t tend to question the losing party more heavily.  Justice Freeman averages 2.09 questions to appellants, 1.56 to appellees.  Writing the majority opinion in a reversal has no consistent impact.  In such cases, he averages 1.6 questions and 1.87 to appellees.  Justice Freeman has been more active when writing a special concurrence in a reversal, but as usual, it’s a small data set.  He averages 2.67 questions to appellants, 2.5 to appellees.  When not writing an opinion in a reversal, Justice Freeman averages 2.15 questions to appellants, 1.41 to appellees.

Table 473

In Table 474, we report the data on Justice Freeman’s question patterns when he is in the minority in criminal cases.  We see here that unlike most of the other Justices, Justice Freeman doesn’t consistently ask the losing party more questions.  In all four divisions of the docket – in the majority of an affirmance, in the majority of a reversal, and disagreeing with an affirmance and a reversal – Justice Freeman averages more questions to appellants than to appellees.

When Justice Freeman is in the minority of an affirmance, he averages 2.93 questions to appellants and 2.21 to appellees.  Writing a dissent is a small data set, but has a substantial impact.  When writing a dissent, Justice Freeman averages 5.5 questions to appellants, 5.25 to appellees.  When not writing, Justice Freeman averages 1.7 questions to appellants, 1 to appellees.

When Justice Freeman is in the minority of a reversal, he averages 3.67 questions to appellants and 1.58 to appellees.  Writing a dissent has no impact on his questioning.  In such cases, he averages 3.88 questions to appellants, 1.25 to appellees. When not writing, Justice Freeman averages 3.5 questions to appellants and 2.25 to appellees.

Table 474

Join us back here tomorrow as we finish our look at Justice Freeman’s patterns in oral arguments in criminal cases.

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

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

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Yesterday, we began analyzing Justice Freeman’s question patterns in civil cases.  Today, we analyze whether it is more likely that Justice Freeman will ask the first question, depending on his vote and whether he’s writing an opinion.

Overall, when Justice Freeman is in the majority of an affirmance, there’s a 12.5% chance that Justice Freeman will ask the first question of appellants, and a 7.29% chance that he’ll ask the first question of appellees.  Writing the majority opinion had no consistent impact; when Justice Freeman wrote the majority opinion, there was a 5.26% chance that he would ask the first question of appellants, but a 15.79% chance that he would ask the first question of appellees.  When not writing an opinion, there was a 13.51% chance that Justice Freeman would ask the first question of appellants, but a 5.41% chance that he would ask the first question of appellees.

When Justice Freeman is in the majority of a reversal, there’s a 23.27% chance that he’ll ask the first question of appellants, and a 11.32% chance that he’ll ask the first question of appellees.  When he’s writing the majority opinion, there’s a 11.77% chance that he’ll ask the first question of appellants, and a 5.88% chance that he’ll ask the first question of appellees.  When he’s not writing an opinion, there’s a 25% chance that Justice Freeman will ask the first question of appellants, but a 12.5% chance that he’ll ask the first question of appellees.

Table 471

There’s a 25% chance that Justice Freeman will ask the first question of appellants when he’s voting in the minority of an affirmance.  There’s a 50% chance that he’ll ask the first question of appellees.  When writing a dissent, there’s a 20% chance that Justice Freeman will ask the first question of appellants, but an 80% chance that he’ll ask the first question of appellees.  When not writing an opinion, there’s a one-in-three chance that Justice Freeman will ask the first question of appellants.  When in the minority of a reversal, there’s a 45.45% chance that Justice Freeman will ask the first question of appellants, and an 18.18% chance that he’ll ask the first question of appellees.  Writing the dissent has virtually no impact on the likelihood of Justice Freeman asking the first question of either side.  In such cases, there is a 44.45% chance of Justice Freeman asking the first question of appellants when he’s writing the dissent, and a 22.22% chance of asking the appellee the first question.  When Justice Freeman is not writing an opinion, there’s a 50% chance that Justice Freeman will ask an appellant the first question.

Table 472

Join us back here next Tuesday when we analyze Justice Freeman’s record in oral arguments in criminal cases.

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

What Can We Infer From Justice Freeman’s Question Pattern in Civil Cases?

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Last week, we analyzed Justice Garman’s question patterns in criminal cases.  This week, we address Justice Freeman’s question pattern in civil cases.

We begin with cases in which Justice Freeman has voted with the majority.  When Justice Freeman votes with the majority, he more heavily questions the appellant by a wide margin.  Justice Freeman averages 1.54 questions to appellants to only 0.39 questions to appellees.  When writing the majority opinion, Justice Freeman has averaged 2.53 questions to appellants, while Justice Freeman has averaged only 0.37 questions to appellees.  When Justice Freeman writes a concurrence, he averages only 0.67 questions to appellants, but 1 question to appellees.  When Justice Freeman is not writing an opinion, he averages 1.32 questions to appellants, and only 0.36 questions to appellees.

When Justice Freeman is in the majority of a reversal, he averages 1.72 questions to appellants and 1.15 questions to appellees.  Writing a majority opinion has virtually no impact; Justice Freeman averages 1.59 questions to appellants, 1.41 questions to appellees.  When writing a concurrence – as usual, a tiny database – Justice Freeman averages 3.33 questions to appellants and 2 questions to appellees.  When not writing an opinion, Justice Freeman averages 1.67 questions to appellants, and 1.08 questions to appellees.

Table 469

When Justice Freeman was in the minority of an affirmance, he averaged one question to appellants, but 2.5 questions to appellees.  Writing a dissent had no consistent effect; when he wrote a dissent, Justice Freeman averaged 0.6 questions to appellants and 3.4 questions to appellees.  When not writing an opinion, Justice Freeman averaged 1.67 questions to appellants and one question to appellees.

When Justice Freeman was in the minority of a reversal, Justice Freeman averaged 3.18 votes to appellants, and only 0.64 to appellees.  When Justice Freeman wrote a dissent, he averaged 3.22 questions to appellants and 0.78 questions to appellees.

Table 470

Join us back here tomorrow as we turn our attention to the likelihood of Justice Freeman asking the first question in civil cases.

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

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

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Yesterday, we showed how Justice Garman’s vote and whether she is writing an opinion impacts her question patterns in criminal cases.  Today, we take the analysis the final step: what can we infer when Justice Garman asks the first question in a criminal case?

When Justice Garman is in the majority of an affirmance, she asks the appellant the first question 22.3% of the time, and begins with the appellee 16.89% of the time.  Writing the Court’s opinion has a substantial impact.  When she’s writing the majority opinion of an affirmance, she asks the first question to appellant 43.33% of the time, and begins with the appellee 26.67% of the time.  On the other hand, when Justice Garman is not writing, the likelihood she’ll ask the first question of appellant is 17.24%, of appellees, 13.79%.

Justice Garman is slightly less often the first questioner when in the majority of a reversal.  In such cases, she asks the first question of appellants 18.07% of the time, and begins with appellees 14.46% of the time.  Writing an opinion has an impact with respect to appellants in reversals, but not appellees.  When writing the majority opinion in a reversal, Justice Garman asks the first question of appellants 31.82% of the time, but begins with appellees only 4.55% of the time.  When Justice Garman is not writing an opinion in a reversal, she asks the first question of appellants 16.55% of the time, of appellees 15.83% of the time.

Table 467

When Justice Garman is in the minority of an affirmance, she has asked the first question of appellants half the time, and of appellees 25% of the time.  As we noted yesterday, Justice Garman has written only one dissent in such cases, and she asked the first question of appellee.

When Justice Garman is in the minority of a reversal, she asks the first question of appellants 37.5% of the time and begins with appellees 12.5% of the time.  When she writes a dissent in such cases, the chances she will ask the first question of appellants is one in three.  In such cases, the chances she’ll begin with the appellee are 16.67%.  When Justice Garman is not writing in the minority of a reversal, she begins with the appellant half the time.

Table 468

Join us back here next Tuesday as we turn our attention to the record of Justice Charles Freeman in civil cases.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Teemu008 (no changes).

What Can We Infer From Justice Garman’s Question Pattern in Criminal Cases?

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Last week, we looked at the data from the past nine years’ oral arguments in civil cases, analyzing how Justice Garman’s vote, and whether or not she’s in the majority, impacts her question patterns.  We also looked at whether it’s reasonable to infer that Justice Garman might be writing an opinion in cases where she’s unusually active at argument.  This week, we turn our attention to the data for criminal cases.

We analyzed data from 148 criminal arguments in which Justice Garman was in the majority of an affirmance, and 166 arguments in which she was in the majority of a partial or complete reversal.  When Justice Garman is in the majority of an affirmance, she averages 2.51 questions to appellants, only 0.8 to appellees.  Writing the majority opinion has an impact on her questions to appellants – she averages 3.47 questions to appellants across thirty such cases – but averages only 0.67 questions to appellees when she’s writing the majority.  There are very few cases in which Justice Garman has specially concurred in the majority of an affirmance, but writing has little impact there.  When not writing, she averages 2.28 questions to appellants and 0.83 to appellees.

When Justice Garman is in the majority of a reversal, she once again questions the losing party more heavily – 1.54 questions to appellants, 1.98 to appellees.  Writing the majority opinion has an impact with respect to both parties.  In the 22 cases where she wrote the majority opinion in a reversal, she averaged 2.5 questions to appellants, 2.59 to appellees.  Once again, there are few cases of special concurrences, but they had little impact; she averaged 0.4 questions to appellants, 2.0 to appellees.  When Justice Garman is not writing an opinion voting in the majority of a reversal, she averages 1.44 questions to appellants, 1.88 to appellees.

Table 465

Justice Garman is seldom in the minority in criminal cases, so we should be cautious about reading too much into the data.  When she’s in the minority of an affirmance, she more heavily questions the party she’s voting against rather than the party which will lose.  She averages 2.5 questions to appellants, 2.75 to appellees.  There’s only one example in the entire nine years when she wrote a dissent from an affirmance.

Justice Garman is twice as likely to be in the minority of a reversal than to dissent from an affirmance.  When in the minority of a reversal, she averages 2.5 questions to appellants, 0.13 to appellees – again, more heavily questioning the side she votes against.  When writing a dissent in such cases, she averages 2.67 questions to appellants, 0.17 to appellees.

Table 466

Join us back here tomorrow morning as we look further at Justice Garman’s record in oral arguments in criminal cases.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Jeff Sharp (no changes).

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

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Yesterday, we showed that between 2008 and 2016, an unusually high level of questions from Justice Garman indicated that she was likely writing an opinion.  We also demonstrated that when Justice Garman was in the minority, she averaged more questions to the party she would vote against rather than the party which would ultimately lose.

Today, we turn to the related question – does writing an opinion make it more likely that the first question will come from Justice Garman?

Overall, when Justice Garman is in the majority of an affirmance, she asks the first question of appellants in 15.69% of cases, and of appellees 14.71% of the time.  Writing has an impact; when she’s writing the majority opinion, the likelihood that she’ll ask the first question to appellant grows to 27.27%.  The effect is somewhat less for appellees; Justice Garman asks the first question 18.18% of the time when writing an opinion.  When not writing, there is a 6.85% chance she’ll ask the first question to appellants, and a 6.85% chance she’ll lead off to appellees.

When in the majority of a reversal, Justice Garman begins with appellants 19.32% of the time, and with appellees 15.91% of the time.  Writing has a substantial effect; when writing the majority opinion, she asks the first question of appellants 30.77% of the time, and of appellees, 38.46%.  When not writing an opinion, where’s only a 16.89% chance she’ll ask the first question of appellants, and 12.16% of appellees.

Table 463

When Justice Garman is in the minority of an affirmance, it’s far more likely that she’ll begin the questioning of appellee than of the appellant – 42.86% for appellees, 28.57% for appellants.  When she’s writing a dissent, there’s a 50% chance she’ll begin for both sides.  The numbers are different when Justice Garman is in the minority of a reversal (a small data set).  Overall, she asks the first question 16.67% of the time for both sides.  When she’s writing a dissent, she asks the first questions one-third of the time for each side.

Table 464

Join us back here next Tuesday as we look at the data for Justice Garman and criminal cases between 2008 and 2016.

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

What Can We Infer From Justice Garman’s Question Pattern in Civil Cases?

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Two weeks ago, we began our detailed analysis of the data on oral arguments in civil and criminal cases between 2008 and 2016.  This week and next, we’ll be looking at Justice Rita B. Garman’s patterns in oral argument, starting with civil cases.

Our data includes 102 cases in which Justice Garman voted with a majority affirming, and 176 in which she joined a majority reversing.  Overall, in affirmances Justice Garman averaged 2.03 questions to appellants and 1.22 questions to appellees (like the Court as a whole, averaging more questions to the losing party).  Writing the majority opinion had a significant impact, suggesting that when Justice Garman is quite active at oral argument, she is likely writing the majority opinion.  In affirmances, she averaged 3.73 questions to appellants and 1.73 questions to appellees.  There are only two cases in which she joined a majority affirming and wrote a concurrence (to eleven where she wrote the majority opinion). When Justice Garman wasn’t writing in an affirmance, she averaged only 1.29 questions to appellants, 1.18 to appellees.

When Justice Garman is in the majority reversing, she once again averages more questions to the losing party – 1.81 questions to appellees, 1.21 questions to appellants.  Writing the majority opinion has a significant impact – in the twenty-six cases in which Justice Garman wrote the majority reversing, she averaged 3.46 questions to appellees, 1.96 to appellants.  She only wrote concurrences in two cases where she voted with a majority reversing.  In the 148 cases where the Court reversed and Justice Garman didn’t write separately, she averaged 1.54 questions to appellees and 1.07 to appellants.

Table 461

When Justice Garman is in the minority in civil cases, she tends to ask more questions of the party she’s voting against, rather than the party which will ultimately lose the case.  When Justice Garman is in the minority of an affirmance, she averages 2.86 questions to appellees, only 1.14 to appellants.  Writing a dissent has little impact.  Justice Garman averages 2.75 questions to appellees when writing a dissent – slightly fewer than the overall number – and 1.75 to appellants.  When Justice Garman is in the minority of a reversal, she averages three questions to appellants, 1.5 to appellees.  When writing a dissent, she averages four questions to appellants, two to appellees.

Table 462

Join us back here tomorrow as we analyze whether writing an opinion makes it more likely that Justice Garman will ask the first question in civil cases.

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

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

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Yesterday, we reviewed the data on Justice Burke’s question patterns in criminal cases. Today, we ask a related question: if Justice Burke asks the first question, can we infer that she is likely writing an opinion?

Writing the majority opinion has some impact on the likelihood that Justice Burke will ask the first question. In affirmances where Justice Burke is in the majority, she asks the first question of appellants 16.03% of the time, and of appellees, 12.21%. When she’s writing the majority opinion, she leads off with appellants 23.08% of the time, and with appellees 15.38%. Concurrences – always a small data set – have a slight impact on Justice Burke’s questioning of appellees, but little to none of appellants. Overall, when Justice Burke isn’t writing an opinion (and she’s voting with the majority), there’s a 15.65% chance she’ll begin the questioning of appellants in affirmances, 11.3% of appellees, 11.67% of appellants in reversals, 9.17% of appellees.

Table 459

Writing dissents doesn’t have an enormous impact on the probability that Justice Burke will ask the first question. When the Court affirms with Justice Burke in the minority, there’s a 9.52% chance she’ll ask the first question of appellants, but that only increases to 11.76% when she’s writing a dissent. There’s a 28.57% chance she’ll ask the first question of appellees, and that only increases to 29.41% when she writes a dissent. When she’s in the minority of a reversal, there’s a 29.41% chance she’ll ask the first question of appellants, but only a 5.88% chance she’ll lead off for appellees. Writing a dissent has virtually no effect at all.

Table 460

Join us back here next Tuesday as we consider the questioning patterns of Justice Garman.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Infowidget (no changes).

 

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