How Have Defendants Fared in Employment Law Cases at the Court Since 1990 (Part 3)?

Last time, we reviewed the data on the Court’s employment law cases from 2000 to 2010 and began looking at the data for the past nine years.  Today, we review the remainder of the data, as well as looking at the overall numbers.

Since employment law cases have been so rare since 2010, we combine the data for defendants who won at the Appellate Court and plaintiffs who won below.  Since 2010, defendants who won below have won once and lost twice at the Supreme Court.  Plaintiffs who had won at the Appellate Court, on the other hand, are 0-3 since 2010 at the Supreme Court.  Overall since 1990, defendants who prevailed below have eleven wins and eleven losses at the Supreme Court.  Plaintiffs who won below have ten wins and seven losses at the Supreme Court.

Combining the data below into a single graphic tracking employment law defendants’ won-loss record (regardless of who won below), we see that since 2010, defendants have won four cases and lost two.  Since 1990, employment law defendants have won eighteen and lost twenty-one at the Supreme Court.

Since 2010, the Court has decided one case relating to tort and contract liability, one discrimination case, three wage and hour/collective bargaining cases, one posing public employment issues and one “other.”  Since 1990, the Court has decided sixteen cases involving wage and hour or collective bargaining issues, eleven involving tort or contract liability, six involving discrimination, five involving public employment issues and two “other.”

Next, we review the data for how many times each year the individual Justices supported an employment law defendant’s position.  Justices Garman, Thomas, Karmeier and Burke each voted for employment law defendants four times since 2010.  The remaining Justices (aside from Justice Fitzgerald) supported defendants in three cases.

As for each Justice’s votes against employment law defendants, Justices Garman and Burke lead with five apiece and Justices Freeman, Kilbride and Theis are next, all with three.

As we noted above, since 1990, defendants in employment law cases have won eighteen and lost twenty-one – a winning percentage of 46.15%.  So which Justices have been more likely to support defendants in these cases than the Court as a whole?  We see the numbers in Table 1121.  Chief Justice Karmeier is first, having voted for the defendant to prevail in 76.92% of employment law cases.  Justice Ryan is next at 66.67, followed by Justice Garman (56.52%), Justice Thomas (55%) and Justice McMorrow (52.63%).  Justices Nickels, Fitzgerald, Rarick, Stamos and Theis have supported defendants exactly half the time.

And in Table 1122, we see the flip side – Justices who have voted for employment law defendants to prevail less often than the Court as a whole.  Justice Miller voted for defendants in 45% of his cases.  Justices Heiple and Bilandic were at 43.75%, Justice Freeman was at 41.18% and Justices Kilbride and Burke have voted for defendants 40% of the time.  Justices Moran and Ward supported defendants in 33.33% of employment law cases, and Justices Harrison and Calvo did so in 25%.  Justice Clark voted for defendants in only 11.11% of his employment law cases.  Finally, Justices Cunningham and Rathje never did during their comparatively short tenures.

Join us back here next week as we move on to a new area of law.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Jeffrey Zeldman (no changes).

 

How Have Defendants Fared in Employment Law Cases at the Court Since 1990 (Part 2)?

Last time, we began our review of the Court’s recent history with employment law cases, covering the years 1990 through 1999.  Today, our review continues with the years 2000 through 2009.

The Court’s employment law docket tailed off during our second ten years, from nineteen cases between 1990 and 1999 to fourteen in the period 2000-2009.  However, the Court continued to accept for review slightly more defense wins from the Appellate Court than plaintiffs’ wins – eight defense, six plaintiffs.

Defendants were less successful at defending their Appellate Court wins at the Supreme Court, however, winning only three while losing five cases.

Plaintiffs who won their cases at the Appellate Court fared only slightly better during those years, winning three and losing three at the Supreme Court.

Overall, for the years 2000 through 2009, defendants in employment cases won six cases at the Supreme Court while losing eight.

In the next table, we review the subjects covered in the employment law cases.  During these years, the Court predominantly decided cases involving wage/hour and collective bargaining issues.  The Court decided eleven such cases, five cases involving tort or contract liability, two involving discrimination issues and two involving public employment.

In Table 1113, we review the total votes for employment law defendants cast by each Justice per year.  Justice Garman most frequently supported defendants’ arguments, with nine votes, followed by Justices Thomas and Fitzgerald with seven votes apiece and Chief Justice Karmeier with six votes.

In our next Table, we review each Justice’s votes year by year against employment law defendants.  Justice Kilbride led with nine votes, followed by Justices Thomas and Fitzgerald with seven apiece and Justice Freeman with six.

Between 2010 and 2018, employment law accounted for an even smaller slice of the Court’s civil docket – only seven cases in all.  The Court decided three cases in 2011, one in 2012, two in 2013 and one in 2014.

In the past nine years, the employment law cases have been equally divided – three plaintiffs’ wins at the Appellate Court, three defendants’ wins.  (If you’re wondering where the seventh case went, the Court decided an employment law case in 2012 on a certified question from the Seventh Circuit – so no one had won the case “below.”

Join us back here next time as we finish our review of the employment law data for the years 2010 to 2018.

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

How Has the Court Handled Employment Law Cases Since 1990 (Part 1)?

For the past several weeks, we’ve been analyzing areas of law, looking at the data regarding what kinds of cases the court takes and what the individual Justices’ voting records on the issue are.  Today, we begin a new one: employment law.

Between 1990 and 1999, the Court decided only nineteen employment law cases: four in 1990, two each in 1991 and 1992, one in 1994, three in 1996, two in 1997, four in 1998 and one in 1999.

Across the same period, the Court accepted more cases for review won by the defendant below than cases won by the plaintiff: eleven defense wins, eight plaintiffs’ wins.

Between 1990 and 1999, defendants had a reasonable degree of success defending decisions which they had won below, winning seven and losing four.

Plaintiffs also were having good success during the decade, successfully defending seven of their Court of Appeal wins while losing only one.

Although the Court has tended at times to incline towards the defense viewpoint in several of our earlier analyses, employment law was different, at least during the 1990s.  For the decade, disregarding who won below, defendants in employment law cases was eight but lost eleven.

Next we drill down a bit on what kind of employment law cases the Court was deciding.  We divide the cases into five categories: (1) tort and contract liability; (2) discrimination; (3) wage and hour cases and collective bargaining; (4) public employment; and (5) other.  During the decade, the Court decided five tort and contract liability cases, three discrimination cases, seven cases involving wage and hour claims and collective bargaining issues, three involving public employment and one case in “other.”

Across the decade, the Justices who most often supported employment law defendants’ position were Justice Miller (nine votes), Justices Heiple and Bilandic (7 each) and Justices Freeman and McMorrow (6 each).

The Justices who most frequently voted against employment law defendants during the decade were Justices Heiple and Bilandic (nine votes each), Justice Clark (8 votes), Justice Harrison (7 votes), and Justice Moran (6 votes).

We noted at the outset that employment law cases were relatively uncommon during the 1990s – but they were even more so the following decade.  Between 2000 and 2009, the Court decided only fourteen employment law cases – two in 2001, three in 2002 and 2005, one per year in 2006, 2007 and 2008 and three in 2009.

Join us back here next week as we continue our analysis of the Court’s employment law cases.

Image courtesy of Flickr by NathanMac 87 (no changes).

How Have Tort Defendants Fared at the Supreme Court Since 1990 (Part 3)?

For the past two weeks, we’ve been tracing the Supreme Court’s record and the Justices’ voting patterns with respect to tort cases.  Today, we’re finishing up with a review of the years 2010 to 2018.

In Table 1091 below, we review the performance of tort defendants who prevailed at the Appellate Court.  Since 2010, such defendants have broken even with eight wins and eight losses, and that exactly mirrors their long-term record since 1990: 56 wins, 56 losses.

Plaintiffs who won at the Appellate Court have had a considerably harder time at the Supreme Court since 2010, winning only 13 while losing 32, a winning percentage of .289.  Since 1990, they’ve only done a bit better than that, winning 81 while losing 144, for a winning percentage of .360.

 

Overall, tort defendants do quite well at the Supreme Court, given the lopsided reversal rate for plaintiffs’ wins.  Since 2010, defendants in tort cases have won 40 while losing only 21 at the Supreme Court, a winning percentage of .656.  Since 1990, tort defendants have 199 wins to only 129 losses – a winning percentage of .607.

Since 2010, the areas of tort law the Court has addressed in its cases have been almost evenly distributed across the spectrum: 22 cases primarily involving tort duties, 22 cases involving liability issues, and 18 cases involving procedural issues.  Since 1990, the Court has decided 108 cases involving tort duties, 83 involving liability issues, 86 involving procedural issues, and 64 addressing various other issues.

In Table 1095, we review the individual Justices’ votes for tort defendants since 2010.  Since 2010, Chief Justice Karmeier has cast the most votes for tort defendants’ positions with 43, followed by Justices Burke and Garman (42 votes each), Justice Thomas (39) and Justice Theis (38).

Since 2010, Justice Kilbride has cast the most votes against tort defendants – 32.  Following him are Justice Freeman with 23 votes, Justice Garman (19) and Justices Thomas and Burke (18).

As we noted earlier, defendants in tort cases have an overall winning percentage before the Court since 1990 of .607.  So, next we identify the Justices who have supported defendants’ positions more than 60.71% of the time since 1990.  Justice Rathje is first at 76.47%, followed by Justice Theis (73.08%), Justice Ryan (70.59%), Chief Justice Karmeier (67.92%), Justice Thomas (66.91%), Justice Garman (66%), Justice Burke (63.95%), Justice Heiple (61.15%) and Justice Stamos (61.11%).

And finally, we have the much longer list of Justices who voted for tort defendants at a lesser rate than the full Court.  Justice Miller is the highest at 60.66% – only behind the courtwide figure by the slightest of margins.  Behind him was Justice McMorrow (60.23%), Justice Fitzgerald (57%), Justices Freeman and Ward (55.56%), Justice Bilandic (55.19%), Justice Nickels (52.63%), Justice Kilbride (48.32%), Justice Calvo (47.83%), Justice Rarick (45%), Justice Moran (43.75%), Justice Clark (37.5%), Justice Cunningham (30.56%) and Justice Harrison (27.83%).  Although Justice Neville’s rate as of the end of 2018 was technically zero, that’s based on only one case.

Join us back here next time as we turn our attention to the Court’s record with employment law cases.

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

 

 

How Have Tort Defendants Fared at the Supreme Court Since 1990 (Part 2)?

Yesterday, we began our review of the data regarding the Court’s handling of tort cases.  Today, we’re continuing that series.

In Table 1082, we divide the Court’s tort cases each year according to who won at the Appellate Court – the plaintiff or defendant?  Although review of plaintiffs’ wins dropped off in 2004 and 2005, across the entire period, the Court reviewed 53 cases won by the plaintiff below and 46 won by the defendant.  The yearly numbers seldom diverge by much; the Court reviewed twelve plaintiffs’ wins in 2002 to four defendants’ wins.  In 2005, the Court reviewed six defendants’ wins but zero plaintiffs.  In 2009, it was seven plaintiffs’ wins to one defense win.

Between 2000 and 2009, defendants who won at the Appellate Court lost nearly as many cases at the Supreme Court as they won: 19 wins, 18 losses.  As the Table shows the yearly won-loss numbers are almost always very close.

Plaintiffs who won at the Appellate Court had a much different story, however, winning 23 cases at the Supreme Court while losing 42.  In 2001, winning plaintiffs from the Appellate Court lost all four cases at the Supreme Court.  In 2004, winning plaintiffs were 2-6 at the Supreme Court.  In 2009, they were 1-6.

Next, we combine the last two measurements to derive an overall won-loss record at the Supreme Court for defendants in tort cases.  Between 2000 and 2009, tort defendants won 61 cases and lost 41.  Only in 2003 and 2007 did defendants’ performance slip under a .500 winning percentage (4-5 in 2003 and 3-4 in 2007).  The numbers were particularly lopsided in 2001, when defendants won seven of eight cases, 2004, when defendants were 9-3, and 2009, when defendants won six of eight cases.

Next, we categorize the tort cases by the principal issue involved.  For the period, the Court decided more cases addressing procedural issues than anything else: 38 in all.  The Court decided 32 cases involving questions of tort duties and 27 which involved liability cases.

Next, we review each Justice’s total votes for defendants in tort cases.  For this decade, the Justices most often supporting insurers’ positions were Justice Freeman (61 votes), Justice Garman (57), Justice Thomas (54), Justices Kilbride and Fitzgerald (45 each), and Justice McMorrow (43).

In Table 1088, we report the yearly total votes of each Justice against tort defendants.  The most frequent are Justice Kilbride (45 votes), Justice Freeman (41), Justice Garman (32) and Justice McMorrow (30).

Next, we report the yearly tort cases for our final period, 2010 to 2018.  The Court’s docket of tort cases steadily fell in recent years, as the graph shows.  The Court decided nine tort cases in 2010, twelve in 2011, ten in 2012, but then only four in 2013, five in 2014, seven in 2015, six in 2016, seven in 2017 and two in 2018.

Although the tort docket has been falling, the cases the Court has agreed to review have overwhelmingly been plaintiffs’ wins from the Appellate Court: 48 plaintiffs’ wins, 14 defendants’ wins.  Only in 2010 and 2016 did defendants’ wins narrowly predominate.  Meanwhile, between 2011 and 2015, the Court decided thirty-four cases won by plaintiffs at the Appellate Court to only four cases won by defendants.  After the one-year flip in 2016, the trend reasserted itself – for 2017-2018, the Court decided 8 plaintiffs’ wins below to only 1 case won by defendants.

Join us back here next Tuesday as we conclude our series on the Court’s tort law history, including a comparison of the Justices’ individual voting record to the courtwide results data.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Richie Diesterheft (no changes).

How Have Tort Defendants Fared at the Court Since 1990?

Last week, we kicked off our new series of posts taking a deep dive on various key areas of the law, asking several important questions about the kinds of cases the Court takes, who wins them the most often, and the Justices’ voting records.  This week, we’re looking at the Court’s record with tort law.

First, we review the number of tort cases the Court decided, year by year, for the years 1990 to 1999.  The Court decided twenty tort cases in 1990, sixteen in 1991, twenty-eight in 1992, twelve in 1993, fifteen in 1994, twenty-one in 1995, fifteen in 1996, seventeen in 1997 and 1998 and thirteen in 1999.

Next, we review the data for which side won the Court’s cases at the Appellate Court – were the cases coming to the Court as plaintiffs’ wins or defendants’ wins?  For the years 1990 to 1999, the Court’s tort cases were overwhelmingly plaintiffs’ wins – 115 plaintiffs’ wins and only 59 defendants’ wins.  For example, in 1991, plaintiffs’ wins below outnumbered defendants’ wins 12-4.  The following year, plaintiffs’ wins outnumbered defendants’ wins 19-9.  In 1996, the Court decided 12 plaintiffs’ wins and 3 defendants’ wins.  In 1998, the Court decided thirteen plaintiffs’ wins and four defendants’ wins.  In 1999, the split was ten plaintiffs’ wins to three defendants’ wins.

Next, we review how often defendants who won at the Appellate Court won at the Supreme Court.  Between 1990 and 1999, defendants’ won-loss record in such cases was slightly below .500 – 29 wins, 30 losses.

But plaintiffs found it much harder during the 1990s to defend their wins, going 45-70 in cases before the Supreme Court in cases they had won below.  1995 and 1996 were particularly rough years, as plaintiffs fresh off Appellate Court wins went 4-23 at the Supreme Court.

In the next table, we combine the data to derive defendants’ total wins in tort cases for the decade – in other words, defense wins from the Appellate Court successfully defended plus plaintiffs’ wins from the Appellate Court overturned at the Supreme Court.  Defendants hovered around .500 for the first half of the nineties, going 40-42 between 1990 and 1994.  But things turned around from 1995 to 1999, as winning defendants went 58-25 at the Supreme Court, for an overall won-lost record of 98-67.

Next, we look at the primary issues involved in the Court’s tort cases, dividing the issues into duty, liability, procedural and “other.”  During the nineties, the Court spread its tort work around the docket fairly well, deciding 54 tort cases primarily about duty issues and 56 in our “other” category.  There were 34 cases presenting liability issues and 30 involving procedural questions.

In the next table, we show for each Justice the number of votes he or she cast for defendants in tort cases.  For the decade, the Justices most often supporting defendants in tort cases were Justice Miller (102 votes), Justice Heiple (88), and Justices Freeman and Bilandic (79 votes and 78 votes, respectively).

And below, we report the total votes each Justice cast for tort plaintiffs during the nineties.  Leaders in this group were Justice Freeman (76 votes), Justice Miller (70 votes), Justice Bilandic (66 votes), Justice Harrison (60 votes) and Justice Heiple (59 votes).

Finally, we look at the Court’s total number of tort cases for the years 2000 through 2009.  As Table 1081 shows, the Court’s tort docket was somewhat down during these years.  Where the total cases weren’t in double digits any year of the nineties, they were every other year throughout this second period.  The Court decided ten tort cases in 2000, nine in 2001, seventeen in 2002, nine in 2003, thirteen in 2004, six in 2005, twelve in 2006, seven in 2007, fourteen in 2008 and eight in 2009.

Join us back here tomorrow as we take another step in our analysis of the Court’s handling of torts.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Ron Frazier (no changes).

Reviewing the Justices’ Voting Records in Insurance Law Cases, 1990-2018

Yesterday, we looked at the data for the number and type of insurance law cases the Court has decided, year-by-year, since 1990, as well as the insurers’ winning percentage in those cases.  Today, we’re reviewing the individual Justices’ voting records in insurance law cases.

In Table 1065, we show yearly votes for insurer parties for the years 1990 to 1999.  We’ll get to specifics later in the post, but several Justices who tended overall to vote with insurer parties at a bit over the courtwide average served in this decade and the next, including Justices Rathje, Heiple, Nickels and Miller.  Leaving aside Justices who were concluding their tenure in 1990, the only Justice in the chart who tended to vote for insurer parties somewhat less often than his colleagues was Justice Bilandic.

 

In the next Table, we see the Justices’ votes against insurer parties between 1990 and 1999.

In Table 1067, we review Justices’ votes for insurer parties between 2000 and 2009.  Justices supporting insurer parties at a higher than courtwide rate in this table include Justices Karmeier, Burke, McMorrow and Freeman.

And in Table 1068, we review the Justices’ votes against insurer parties.  Among the names on this list, Justices whose rate of voting with insurers was at least somewhat lower than the firmwide rate, we have Justices Garman, Thomas, Harrison and Fitzgerald.

And next, we report the votes in favor of insurer parties, Justice by Justice, for the years 2011 to 2018.  The Court decided no insurance cases in 2014, 2016 or 2017.

In the chart below, we report the yearly votes cast by each Justice against insurer parties for the years 2011 to 2018.

Finally, let’s take a look at the Justices’ cumulative voting record in insurance cases.  First, we calculate for each Justice the percentage of his or her total insurer votes which were cast for insurers between 1990 and 2018.  For the entire period, insurers had a winning percentage at the Court of 53.41% – forty-seven wins, forty-one losses.  So we divide the Justices into two tables – Justices voting for insurers at a higher rate than the full Court and Justices voting for insurers less often than the full Court (in reviewing the tables, keep in mind that several Justices’ percentages will either be very high or very low because they were close to retirement in 1990, when our data starts, or in Justice Neville’s case, because of joining the Court in 2018).

Justice Rathje voted with the insurer 80% of the time in insurance cases.  Three Justices are in the sixties – Justice Theis (66.67%), Justice Heiple (65%) and Justice Nickels (60%).  Six Justices were in the fifties but ahead of the courtwide number of 53.41% – Justice Karmeier (58.06%), Justice Miller (56.82%), Justibe Burke (56.52%), Justice McMorrow (56.25%), Justice Freeman (55.56%) and Justice Cunningham (also 55.56%).

In Table 1072, we report the Justices who were at least a bit less likely to support insurers than the Court overall.  Justice Garman’s insurer rate was 51.16%.  Seven Justices were in the forties – Justice Thomas (47.62%), Justice Harrison (47.06%), Justice Fitzgerald (46.88%), Justices Clark and Moran (both 46.15%), Justice Kilbride (43.9%) and Justice Bilandic (41.18%).  Justices Stamos, Ryan and Ward, each of whom left the Court in 1990, voted with insurers only a third of the time.  And finally, three Justices whose tenures only slightly overlapped our study period, Justices Calvo, Rarick and Neville, did not vote for the insurance company in any of their insurance cases.

Join us back here next Tuesday as review the same metrics for another important area of the law.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Brian Crawford (no changes).

How Have Insurers Been Faring at the Illinois Supreme Court Since 1990?

Today and tomorrow, we’re going to be taking a close look at how insurance companies have been doing since 1990 in appeals at the Supreme Court.  Today, we’ll review the data about the types of cases the Court has heard, and insurers’ won-loss record year by year and overall, and tomorrow, we’ll be looking at the Justices’ individual voting records, and determining which Justices were more likely than the Court as a whole to vote in favor of insurer parties, and which Justices were less likely to.

As a named party in litigation, insurers can be on either side of the “v.” – plaintiffs or defendants, depending on the issue involved.  In Table 1056, we begin reviewing the data for (1) how many cases per year did the Court decided and (2) in how many was an insurer the plaintiff, and how many the defendant.  Occasionally, the total of plaintiff plus defendant cases totals more than the “total cases” column – this represents cases in which an insurer was on both sides of the “v.”

During the nineties, the Court decided a total of forty-two cases primarily involving insurance law issues.  That docket wasn’t a steady flow of cases from one year to the next; although the Court tended to decide three to four cases in most years, there were recurring spikes (total cases are tracked below in the blue line).  The Court decided nine insurance cases in 1992 and seven in 1997.  The Court decided only one insurance case in 1996.  In most years, insurer defendants outnumbered insurer plaintiffs.  For the nineties as a whole, 40.5% of insurer parties were plaintiffs to 59.5% defendants.

Between 2000 and 2009, the flow of insurance cases was a bit more predictable from year to year, albeit down a bit from the nineties.  For the ten years, the Court decided thirty-three insurance cases in all.  The spread between plaintiffs and defendants was closer too – 47.4% of the cases had insurer plaintiffs, 52.6% had insurer defendants (in this decade, there were several “insurer v. insurer” cases).

Since 2010, insurance law cases have continued to decline, as we see in Table 1058.  Between 2010 and 2018, the Court has decided only thirteen insurance cases, including none in 2014, 2016 or 2017.  For the first time, plaintiffs outnumbered defendants, with 69.23% of the cases involving an insurer plaintiff and only 30.77% an insurer defendant.

Next, let’s take a look at what these cases involved.  Although our data on the areas of law involved in far more granular, broadly speaking, insurance cases can be divided into “coverage,” “liability” and “other.”  In Table 1059, we follow the numbers for each group.  Overall, between 1990 and 1999, the Court decided twenty-two coverage cases, only seven liability cases, and thirteen cases that were “other.”

Between 2000 and 2009, the Court decided twenty-seven cases dealing with coverage issues, five dealing with liability issues, and none in the “other” category.

The Court has decided almost no cases since 2010 involving anything other than coverage decisions.  From 2010 to 2018, the Court has decided eleven coverage cases, one liability case, and no “other.”

Finally, we turn to the most fundamental statistic of all – the insurers’ win-loss record.  Between 1990 and 1999, insurers have had a won-loss record at the Court of 25-17 – a winning percentage of 59.52%.

Between 2000 and 2009, things shifted a bit towards the insurers’ opponents.  For the entire period, insurers had a won-loss record of 17-16.  Between 1990 and 2009, insurers had a winning percentage at the Court of 56%.

Between 2010 and 2018, insurers’ winning percentage weakened at the Court.  For those years, insurers were 5-8.  For the entire period of 1990 to 2018, insurers were 47-41: a winning percentage of 53.41%.

Join us back here tomorrow as we turn our attention to the individual Justices’ voting records in insurance cases.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Tomosius (no changes).

 

Reviewing the Justices’ Agreement Rates in Criminal Cases, 2014-2018

Today, we’re finishing our review of the agreement rates for the Justices between 2014 and 2018.  If you get the impression reading the data below that the agreement rates for criminal cases below are consistently lower than the agreement rates on the civil side during the same years reviewed here, you’re right.  I calculated an “average agreement rate” for each Justice – add up the agreement rates for each Justice below and divide by the number of observations – then did the same thing for the civil data.  Average civil agreement rates per Justice range from a high of 76.67 (Justice Neville) to a low of 43.03 (Justice Kilbride).  On the criminal side, average agreement rates range from a high of 60.71 (Justice Theis) to a low of 46.9 (Justice Burke).  In other words, excepting only Justice Kilbride, each individual Justice’s average civil agreement rate is higher than any Justice’s average criminal agreement rate – suggesting that the Justices’ philosophies in criminal law diverge from one another significantly more than they do on the civil side.

Justice Burke’s closest match was Justice Neville, in his part year in 2018, at 83.33.  Next was Justice Freeman at 70%.  Two Justices were in the forties – Justice Kilbride (44.44%) and Justice Garman (41.67%).  Two more were in the thirties – Justice Theis (36.11%) and Justice Karmeier (30.56%).  Finally, Justices Thomas and Burke had an agreement rate of only 22.22%.

No fewer than five colleagues had an agreement rate with Justice Garman in the sixties – Justices Thomas and Theis (69.44%), Justices Kilbride and Karmeier (63.89%) and Justice Freeman (60%).  Justices Garman and Burke were at 41.67%, and Justices Garman and Neville had an agreement rate of 33.33%.

Justice Freeman’s agreement rate with Justice Burke was 70%.  He had an agreement rate in the sixties with Justice Theis (66.67%) and Justice Garman (60%).  The remaining Justices were all in the fifties – Justices Kilbride (56.67%), Thomas and Karmeier (both 53.33%).

Because his part year in 2018 produced a very small data set, Justice Neville’s agreement rates spread across a very wide range.   He agreed with Justice Burke in 83.33% of cases.  His agreement rate with Justice Kilbride was 66.67%.  He agreed half the time with Justice Theis.  He had an agreement rate of 33.33% with Justices Garman and Karmeier.  Finally, Justices Neville and Thomas had an agreement rate of 16.67%.

Justice Kilbride had an agreement rate in the sixties with four Justices – Theis and Neville (both 66.67%) and Karmeier and Garman (63.89%).  Justice Kilbride and Freeman had an agreement rate of 56.67%, and Justices Kilbride and Thomas were at 55.56%.  Justices Kilbride and Burke had an agreement rate of 44.44%.

Justices Thomas and Karmeier had an agreement rate of 83.33%.  Two Justices were in the sixties – Justice Garman at 69.44% and Justice Theis at 66.67%.  Two more were in the fifties – Justice Kilbride at 55.56% and Justice Freeman at 53.33%.  Justices Thomas and Burke had an agreement rate of 22.22%, and as noted above, Justices Thomas and Neville were at 16.67%.

As we just mentioned, Justices Karmeier and Thomas had an agreement rate of 83.33%.  Justices Karmeier and Theis were at 69.44%, and Justices Kilbride and Garman both had agreement rates with the current Chief Justice of 63.89%.  Justices Karmeier and Freeman had an agreement rate of 53.33%.  Justice Neville had a rate of 53.33%, and Justices Karmeier and Burke were at 30.56%.

Five of Justice Theis’ colleagues had an agreement rate with her in the sixties – Justices Garman and Karmeier (69.44%), and Justices Freeman, Kilbride and Thomas (all 66.67%).  Justice Theis and Justice Neville had a rate of 50%, and Justices Theis and Burke agreed only 36.11% of the time.

Join us back here next Tuesday as we turn our attention to a new topic.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Brian Crawford (no changes).

Reviewing the Justices’ Agreement Rates in Criminal Cases, 2008-2013

For the past few weeks, we’ve been looking at the data for the Justices’ agreement rates in non-unanimous cases – in other words, how often did each possible combination of the seven Justices vote the same way in a case which had at least one dissenter.  Today, we’re looking at criminal cases between 2008 and 2013.  For purposes of the agreement rates, the only thing we’re looking at is the outcome – even if Justice A signed the majority opinion affirming, and Justice B wrote a special concurrence saying that she agreed that the decision below had to be affirmed, but otherwise disagreed with everything in the majority opinion, that’s still agreement for our purposes.  Since we’re now in a period with nearly the same Justices we have today, we’re arranging the data Justice by Justice in order to better identify each Justices’ leanings.

Justice Burke’s closest match by far was Justice Freeman, with an agreement rate of 86.15%.  Three Justices were in the forties – Justice Theis (48.48%), Justice Kilbride (47.69%) and Justice Fitzgerald (46.88%).  Justices Burke and Karmeier had an agreement rate of 35.94%.  The last two Justices were in the twenties – Justice Thomas (27.69%) and Garman (26.15%).

Justice Garman’s closest match was Justice Karmeier at 93.75%, but Justice Thomas (86.15%) and Justice Fitzgerald (84.38%) were right behind.  Justices Garman and Theis had an agreement rate of 72.73%.  Justices Garman and Kilbride were at 60%, and Justices Garman and Burke were at 26.15%.

As we mentioned above, Justices Freeman and Burke had an agreement rate of 86.15%.  Justices Freeman and Theis were at 51.52%.  Justices Kilbride and Fitzgerald were in the forties – 49.23% and 40.63%, respectively.  Justice Karmeier (34.38%) and Garman (30.77%) were in the thirties.  Justices Freeman and Thomas agreed in only 29.23% of divided criminal cases.

Justice Kilbride’s closest match during these years was Justice Fitzgerald at 75%.  Four Justices were in the sixties – Theis (66.67%), Karmeier (62.5%), Thomas (61.54%) and Garman (60%).  Justices Kilbride and Freeman had an agreement rate of 49.23% and Justices Kilbride and Burke were at 47.69%.

Justice Thomas’ closest match was Justice Karmeier, with an agreement rate of 92.19%.  Justices Thomas and Garman were at 86.15%.  Justices Thomas and Fitzgerald were at 71.88%.  Two Justices were in the sixties – Justice Theis (63.64%) and Kilbride (61.54%).  Two Justices were in the twenties – Justice Freeman (29.23%) and Burke (27.69%).

Justice Karmeier’s agreement rate during these years was in the nineties with both of his current Republican colleagues – Justice Garman (93.75%) and Justice Thomas (92.19%).  He agreed in 83.87% of divided criminal cases with Justice Fitzgerald.  Two Justices were in the sixties – Justice Theis (66.67%) and Justice Kilbride (62.5%).  Two were in the thirties – Justice Burke (35.94%) and Justice Freeman (34.38%).

Justice Fitzgerald (who was Chief Justice in the final years of his tenure) agreed with two Republicans at least eighty percent of the time – Justices Garman (84.38%) and Karmeier (83.87%).  Two Justices were in the seventies – Justice Kilbride (75%) and Justice Thomas (71.88%).  Two more were in the forties – Justice Burke (46.88%) and Justice Freeman (40.63%).

Finally, Justice Theis’ closest match was Justice Garman, at 72.73%.  Three more Justices were in the sixties – Justices Kilbride and Karmeier (both at 66.67%) and Thomas (63.64%).  Justice Freeman was at 51.52% and Justices Theis and Burke agreed in 48.48% of divided cases.

Join us back here next time as we turn our attention to the years 2014 to 2018.

Image courtesy of Flickr by ForestWander.com (no changes).

LexBlog