This time, we’ve reached the home stretch in our review of Justice Theis’ tenure.  In this post, we’re reviewing the areas of law in which she’s written civil majority and civil dissents.  Next time, we’ll be looking at the criminal side of the ledger.  And once again – the data for 2021 is still partial, since we halted the collection at the same time for all seven Justices’ profiles.

Justice Theis has written 51 majority opinions in civil cases.  Eleven were in tort cases.  Another 11 were in cases involving government and administrative law.  Justice Theis has written six opinions each in constitutional law and civil procedure.  She has written five majority opinions in tax cases.  Four majority opinions involved domestic relations and two apiece were in property law and insurance.  She has written one majority opinion each in employment law, environmental law, arbitration and election law.

Justice Theis has written a dozen dissents in civil cases.  Four were in constitutional law cases.  She has written two each in tort and government and administrative law.  She has written one dissent apiece in environmental, employment, election and insurance law.

Join us back here next time as we wrap up our review of Justice Theis’ tenure.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Michel Curi (no changes).

As our review of Justice Theis’ tenure continues, this time we’re assessing the degree to which Justice Theis is in sync with the majority of the Court by measuring her dissent rate.  In Table 1847, we report the fraction of civil cases, year by year, in which Justice Theis joined the majority.

Justice Theis’ highest rate for a full year was 2011, when she voted with the majority 97.06% of the time.  She fell below 90% three times – 2014 (88.89%), 2017 (88.46%) and 2019 (88.24%).  Overall since joining the Court, Justice Theis has joined the majority in 93.35% of her civil cases.

Justice Theis has voted with the majority in 94.99% of her criminal cases.  Her highest full year was 2016, when she was with the majority in every case.  In 2019, she joined the majority in only 76.19% of her criminal cases.  She was over 95% (aside from 2016) five times – 2011 (97.78%), 2015 (96.97%), 2017 (97.06%) and 2020 (96.43%).

Next week, we’ll consider the areas of civil and criminal law in which Justice Theis has written opinions.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Chuck Coker (no changes).

This time, we’re reviewing Justice Theis’ voting record.  In civil cases, Justice Theis has cast 141 votes to affirm, 151 votes to reverse and 49 split votes to affirm in part and reverse in part.  Justice Theis’ biggest year for affirmances was 2015 with 20; her lightest full year was 2012 at 6.  2012 was also her heaviest year for reversals – he voted to reverse 24 times.  Her lightest full years were 2016 and 2018 at 9 each.

In criminal cases, Justice Theis has voted to affirm 153 times and to reverse 153 times, with 47 split votes.  Affirmances range from a high of 19 in 2014 to a low of 7 in 2018.  Reversals range from a high of 22 in 2011 to a low of only 7 in 2019.

Join us next time as we consider Justice Theis’ agreement rate with the majority.

Image courtesy of Flickr by stantontcady (no changes).

Since joining the Supreme Court in 2010, Justice Theis has written a total of 66 opinions – 51 majority opinions, three special concurrences and 12 dissents.  Her heaviest workload for majority opinions was in 2015, when she wrote seven.  Her heaviest year for civil dissents was 2019 with four (she wrote only five majority opinions that year).

Justice Theis has written 68 opinions in criminal cases – 54 majority opinions, six special concurrences and eight dissents.  Her heaviest workload for majorities was in 2012, 2013 and 2017 when she wrote seven per year.  She wrote three criminal dissents in 2013, nearly half her total.

Join us back here later this week as we continue our analysis of Justice Theis’ tenure.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Ricky Wright (no changes).

 

This week, we’re beginning our review of the tenure of Justice Mary Jane Theis.  Justice Theis took her seat on the Supreme Court on October 26, 2010, after being elevated from the Appellate Court for the First District.

Before we begin a reminder – “agreement” for purposes of calculating agreement rates is defined as complete agreement – therefore, a Justice voting to affirm in part and reverse in part when the majority reverses entirely doesn’t count as agreement.  Cases are divided between civil and criminal per our usual practice – criminal should more properly be called “criminal, quasi-criminal, juvenile justice and mental health cases.”  And we stopped our counts for 2021 at the same time for all seven Justices to level the playing field, so the 2021 data is partial only.

Since joining the Court, Justice Theis has participated in 346 civil cases.  Aside from her partial year in 2010, her busiest year was 2015 with 44 cases.  The lightest full year was 2018 with 22 cases.

Justice Theis has participated in 359 criminal cases since taking her seat on the Court.  Her heaviest year was 2011, her first full year on the Court, when she participated in 45 criminal cases.  Her lightest full year was 2019, when she participated in 21 cases.

Join us back here next time as we review Justice Theis’ voting record.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Nick Farnhill (no changes).

Chief Justice Burke has written seventy majority opinions in criminal cases.  Her most frequent topic is criminal procedure, with seventeen majorities.  She has written sixteen opinions on constitutional law and ten involving sentencing issues.  She’s written eight majorities involving violent crime issues, seven in habeas corpus cases and six in juvenile justice cases.  She’s written three majority opinions in cases involving sex offenses and one each in death penalty, property crimes and process crimes cases.

In contrast to her record in civil cases, the Chief Justice has dissented fairly often in criminal cases – 44 dissents to compare to her 70 majorities.  Her most frequent dissenting topic is criminal procedure, with sixteen cases.  Next is constitutional law, with thirteen cases.  She has written six dissents in juvenile justice cases, three in habeas matters, two apiece in property law and mental health cases and one dissent each in cases involving sex offenses, sentencing law, drug offenses and process crimes.

Join us back here later in the week as we begin our examination of the tenure of Justice Mary Jane Theis.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Pen Waggener (no changes).

In these concluding posts, we’re reviewing the majority and dissenting opinions written by the Chief Justice.

Just over half of the Chief Justice’s majority opinions in civil cases have related to one of three areas of law: tort (17 opinions), civil procedure (16 opinions) and government and administrative law (13 opinions).  She has written eleven majorities on constitutional law, six on employment law, four on insurance law, three involving domestic relations, two each in contract law and wills and estates, and one apiece in environmental law, tax law, workers compensation and secured transactions.

The most common area of law in her civil dissents is the same as majority opinions – tort law (4 dissents).  She has written three dissents in government and administrative law and tax law, two in constitutional law and one each involving wills and estates, civil procedure and domestic relations.

Next time, we’ll take a look at Chief Justice Burke’s opinions in criminal, quasi-criminal, mental health and juvenile justice cases.

Image courtesy of Flickr by -5m (no changes).

Today, we’re in the fourth part of our six-part review of the tenure of Chief Justice Anne Burke.  Today’s question – how often is the Chief Justice part of the majority?

Across her entire tenure, the Chief Justice has been in the majority in 93.39% of all civil cases she has participated in.  She has reached 100% four times – 2006, 2016, 2019 and so far in 2021 (until our cut-off point).  She has fallen below 90% only four times – 2010 (87.5%), 2013 (81.25%), 2014 (88.46%), and 2017 (84.62%).  Including the four perfect scores, she has been at 95% or better in 2009 and 2011 (97.37%), 2012 (97.5%) and 2018 (95.45%).

The Chief Justice has voted with the majority in criminal cases only 86.72% of the time.  She has fallen below 80% twice – in 2010 (79.63%) and 2016 (74.29%).  She has reached the nineties only five times – in 2008 (92%), 2008 (92%), 2009 (90.2%), 2013 (91.89%), 2015 (90.91%) and 2017 (91.18%).

Join us back here next Tuesday and we bring you the final two parts of our six-part review of Chief Justice Anne Burke’s tenure.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Sharon Mollerus (no changes).

Today, we’re reviewing Chief Justice Anne Burke’s voting record.  In civil cases, she has voted to affirm outright 205 times.  She has cast split votes – affirm in part, reverse in part – 73 times.  She has voted to reverse 225 times.  Chief Justice Burke’s heaviest year with affirm votes was 2020 – 35 votes.  Her lightest full year was 2012, when she voted to affirm only 7 times.  Her heaviest years for split votes were 2009 and 2012 at 8.  Her heaviest year for reversals was 2012 at 24; her lightest full year was 2016 at 8.

In criminal cases, the Chief Justice has voted to affirm outright in 230 cases, and to reverse 235 times.  She has cast 69 split votes.

Her heaviest full year for votes to affirm was 2010 at 31.  Her lightest full years were 2016, 2018 and 2019 at seven per year.  The Chief Justice’s heaviest year for split votes was 2009 at eight.  The Chief Justice cast 24 votes to reverse in 2009 and 2016, but only eight in 2014.

Join us back here tomorrow as we continue our review of the Chief Justice’s tenure.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Paul Sableman (no changes).

This time, we’re reviewing Chief Justice Anne Burke’s opinions since joining the Court in 2006.  One note before we begin – I’ve cut off the tabulations for 2021 at the same date for each of the Justices’ profiles.

In all, the Chief Justice has written 81 majority opinions in civil cases.  She has written six special concurrences and 15 dissents.  Her heaviest workloads for majority opinions were 2011 and 2013, when she wrote seven majority opinions.  The only year in which she has written more than one special concurrence was 2012, with two.  She wrote three dissents in 2010 and 2015.

Chief Justice Burke has written seventy majority opinions in criminal cases.  She has written twenty special concurrences and forty-four dissents.  Her heaviest year for majority opinions was 2008 with eight opinions.  Her lightest full year was 2014, when she wrote only one majority.  She wrote three special concurrences in 2008.  She wrote a high of seven dissents in 2010 (as compared to only six majority opinions that year) and lows of zero in 2008 and one in 2015 and 2018.

Join us back here on Tuesday as we continue our review of the Chief Justice’s tenure.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Joe Vahling (no changes).