What Are Justice Theis’ Question Patterns When She Disagrees With the Majority in Criminal Cases?

This time, we’re reviewing the data for Justice Theis’ question patterns in criminal cases.

When Justice Theis agrees with the majority in an affirmance, she follows the expected pattern, averaging 3.22 questions to appellants and only 1.38 to appellees.  However, she breaks from the pattern in reversals, more heavily questioning the winner – 3.02 to appellants, 2.66 to appellees.  When Justice Theis joins the majority in a split result – affirmed in part, reversed in part – her numbers are almost identical – 2.3 questions to appellants, 2.23 to appellees.

Once again, in most cases where Justice Theis breaks with the majority, she more heavily questions the side she is voting against rather than the eventual loser.  When the majority affirms but she votes to reverse, she averages 7.33 questions to appellees, 2 to appellants.  When the majority reverses but she votes to affirm, she averages 3.38 to appellants, 2.13 to appellees.   When the majority affirms only in part, but Justice Theis votes to affirm completely, she averages 4.5 questions to appellees, 0.5 to appellants.  In our remaining two combinations – reversal by the Court, split vote by Justice Theis, and split result from the majority, vote to reverse by Justice Theis – she has asked no questions at all.

Join us back here next week as we continue our tour through the individual Justices’ oral argument data.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Chris Bartnik (no changes).

What Are Justice Theis’ Question Patterns When She Disagrees With the Majority in Civil Cases?

This week, we’re reviewing Justice Theis’ history in oral arguments in civil cases.  Having established that the party which gets more questions at argument overall is likely to lose, we’re trying to determine (1) whether each individual Justice follows that same pattern when she or he agrees with the majority; and (2) when he or she dissents, does the Justice more heavily question the side the Justice thinks should lose, or the side the majority believes should lose?  This week, we’re looking at the data for Justice Theis, civil cases first.

When Justice Theis agrees with the majority in a civil affirmance, she follows the expected pattern, averaging 3.98 questions to appellants and 1.54 to appellees.  She follows the same pattern in reversals, but just barely, averaging 2.27 questions to the appellees (the losing party) and 2.24 to appellants.  When she joins the majority in a mixed result – affirmed in part, reversed in part – she averages 2.91 questions to appellees and 2.84 to appellants.

When Justice Theis dissents in a civil case, she shows a clear tendency to more heavily question the side she is voting against rather than the eventual loser.  When the majority affirms but she votes to reverse, she averages 4.57 questions to appellees and only 0.29 to appellants.  When she dissents from a reversal, she averages 3.38 questions to appellants and 0.88 to appellees.  Only two other combinations of result and vote appear in the data, both very small samples.  When the majority returns a split result and Justice Theis votes to affirm, she averages 5.5 questions to both appellants and appellees.  In the very few cases where the majority affirms but Justice Theis wants to reverse in part only, she has asked no questions of either side.

Join us back here next time as we turn our attention to Justice Theis’ data in criminal cases.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Rick Obst (no changes).

What Are Chief Justice Burke’s Question Patterns When She Disagrees With the Majority in Criminal Cases?

In criminal cases where the Chief Justice is voting with the majority, she tends to question the appellant more heavily regardless of the result – a break with the expected pattern.  When joining an affirmance since the Court first started posting oral argument videos, she has averaged 1.71 questions to appellants and 1.08 to appellees.  When joining a reversal, she has averaged 1.75 questions to appellants and 1.62 to appellees.  When joining in a split result (“affirmed in part, reversed in part”), she has averaged 1.37 questions to appellants and 0.88 to appellees.

When Chief Justice Burke dissents from an affirmance or reversal, the pattern flips.  When the majority affirms but she votes to reverse, she averages 3.54 questions to appellees and 1.35 to appellants.  When the majority reverses but she votes to affirm, she averages 2 questions to appellants and only 1.18 to appellees.

When the majority affirms but the Chief Justice votes for a split decision, she averages 2.11 questions to appellants and 0.11 to appellees.  When the majority reverses but she votes for a split decision, she averages 1 question to appellants, none to appellees.  When the majority returns a split decision but the Chief Justice votes to reverse, she averages 3.5 questions to appellants and none to appellees.  Finally, when the majority returns a split decision but the Chief Justice votes to affirm outright, she averages 0.8 questions to appellants and 0.6 to appellees.

Join us back here next week as we continue reviewing the individual Justices’ oral argument statistics.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Dave & Margie Hill (no changes).

What Are Chief Justice Burke’s Question Patterns When She Disagrees With the Majority in Civil Cases?

For the past few weeks, we’ve been reviewing the oral argument data on individual Justices, trying to determine whether it’s possible to predict from the analytics whether a particular Justice is likely to dissent.  This week, we’re looking at the numbers for Chief Justice Burke.

When the Chief Justice is in the majority, we see the expected patterns.  In an affirmance, she averages 2.74 questions to appellants and 1.24 to appellees.  In a reversal, she averages two questions to appellees and 1.78 to respondents.  When she joins the majority in a split result (“affirmed in part, reversed in part”), she averages 2.05 questions to appellants and 1.64 to appellees.

When the Chief Justice dissents in a civil case, the results are clear – she more heavily questions the appellant regardless of her own views of the case.  When the majority affirms but she votes to reverse, she averages 1.64 questions to appellants, 0.55 to appellees.  When the majority reverses but she votes to affirm, she averages 4.6 to appellants, 1.3 to appellees.

As always, the data on split results is scant.  But when the majority affirms but the Chief Justice wants a split result, she averages one question to appellants and none to appellees.  When the majority returns a split result but the Chief wants to reverse outright, same thing – one questions to appellants, none to appellees.  And when the majority decides on a split result but the Chief Justice wants to affirm outright, she averages 4.5 questions to appellees and only 0.5 to appellants.

Join us back here next time as we review the data for the Chief Justice’s criminal cases.

Image courtesy of Flickr by denisbin (no changes).

 

What Are Justice Karmeier’s Question Patterns When He Disagrees With the Majority in Criminal Cases?

Today, we’re reviewing the pattern of Justice Karmeier’s questions in oral argument on criminal cases.

When Justice Karmeier joins the majority of a simple affirmance or reversal, his questions show the expected pattern – he tends to more heavily question the losing side.  In affirmances, he averages 1.88 questions to appellants and 0.68 to appellees.  In reversals, he averages 1.82 to appellees and 1.36 to appellants.  In the slightly less clear case of when Justice Karmeier joins a split decision – affirmed in part, reversed in part – he averages 1.98 questions to appellees and 1 to appellants.

When Justice Karmeier is in the dissent in a criminal case, he tends to more heavily question the party he thinks should lose rather than the party which will lose.  When the majority affirms and he votes to reverse, he averages 1.8 questions to appellees and 0.8 to appellants.  When the majority reverses and he votes to affirm, he averages 2.29 to appellants and 0.57 to appellees.  When the majority returns a split decision but Justice Karmeier votes to affirm outright, he averages 1.5 questions to appellants and 1 to appellees.

Join us back here next week when we’ll continue our review of the individual Justices’ oral argument records.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Patrick Feller (no changes).

What Are Justice Karmeier’s Question Patters When He Disagrees With the Majority in Civil Cases?

For the past few weeks, we’ve been reviewing the oral argument questioning of individual Justices, attempting to answer this question: if the Court as a whole is likely to more heavily question the party who will lose the case, what about Justices planning to dissent from that result?  This week, we’re looking at Justice Karmeier’s recent history.

Although Justice Karmeier is usually not an especially active questioner at oral argument, we see the expected patters when he joins the majority.  In affirmances, he averages 1.65 questions to appellants and 1.08 to appellees.  In reversals, he averages 1.52 questions to appellees, 1.19 to appellants.  But when Justice Karmeier dissents from the majority, that result is flipped – he more heavily questions the party he believes should lose, not the party the majority believes should lose.  When the majority affirms a decision he believes should be reversed, Justice Karmeier averages 0.93 questions to appellees and 0.67 to appellants.  When the majority reverses but he wants to affirm, he averages 2.38 questions to appellants and only 0.5 to appellees.

As with most Justices, there are many fewer data points with mixed results (where either the majority or the dissenting Justice wants to affirm in part and reverse in part).  Where Justice Karmeier joins the majority in a mixed result, he averages 1.16 questions to appellants and 1.07 to appellees.  In the very few cases where the majority reversed but Justice Karmeier preferred to affirm in part, he averaged 1 question to appellees and none to appellants.  Where the majority rendered a split decision but Justice Karmeier wanted to affirm, he averaged 12 questions to appellants and only 2 to appellees.

Tomorrow, we’ll take a close look at the data for Justice Karmeier’s arguments in criminal cases.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Carol VanHook (no changes).

What Are Justice Kilbride’s Question Patterns in Criminal Cases When He Disagrees With the Majority?

Yesterday, we reviewed the data on Justice Kilbride’s oral arguments in civil cases.  Today, we’re looking at the criminal cases.

As you can see from the Table below, Justice Kilbride asks very few questions in criminal oral arguments.  When he’s in the majority of an affirmance, he averages 0.48 questions to appellants, 0.3 to appellees.  When he’s in the majority of a reversal, he averages 0.69 questions to appellees and 0.57 to appellants.  When he’s in the majority of a split decision, he averages 0.4 questions to appellees and 0.17 to appellants.

When Justice Kilbride dissents from a criminal affirmance, he averages 1.46 questions to appellees and 0.85 to appellants.  When he dissents from a reversal, he averages 0.71 to appellants and 0.14 to appellees.

Join us back here next week as we continue our review of the individual Justices’ records.

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

What Are Justice Kilbride’s Question Patterns in Civil Cases When He Disagrees With the Majority?

A few weeks ago, we established that court-wide, the party which is likely to lose tends to get the most questions in oral argument.  Now, we’re investigating individual Justices’ records – when the Justice agrees with the majority, does he or she follow the usual pattern, and when he or she doesn’t agree, does the Justice more heavily question that party that will lose, or the party he or she thinks should lose?  This time, we’re looking at Justice Kilbride’s history – first up, civil cases.

In civil affirmances where Justice Kilbride is with the majority, Justice Kilbride more heavily questions the losing appellant than the winning appellee – 1.11 to 0.76.  When Justice Kilbride joins the majority in a civil reversal, his numbers are close to even – 1.22 questions to appellees, 1.12 to appellants.  When Justice Kilbride joins the majority in a split decision – “affirmed in part, reversed in part” – he averages 1.18 questions to appellees and 0.98 to appellants.

So now we turn to dissents.  When Justice Kilbride dissents from a civil affirmance, he more heavily questions the appellant who is going to lose – 1.38 to 0.85 for appellees.  When he dissents from a civil reversal, the pattern reverses – 1.3 questions to appellants, 0.44 to appellees.  The other combinations of result and vote are small sample sizes – when Justice Kilbride wants a split decision but the majority affirms, he averages two questions to appellees and none to appellants.  When Justice Kilbride supports a split decision but the Court reverses completely, he averages 2.5 questions to appellants, none to appellees.  When the majority settles on a split decision but Justice Kilbride votes to affirm, he averages 1.5 questions to appellees and 1 to appellants.

Join us back here tomorrow as we review Justice Kilbride’s criminal cases.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Christian Wilcox (no changes).

What Are Justice Garman’s Question Patterns When She Disagrees With the Majority in Criminal Cases?

Last time, we reviewed Justice Garman’s record in oral arguments in civil cases, both when she agreed with the majority and when she didn’t.  Today, we’re reviewing the criminal docket.

Once again we begin with cases in which the Court affirms.  When Justice Garman agrees, she more heavily questions the losing appellant, 2.44 to 0.79.  She has participated in no cases where the majority affirmed and Justice Garman wanted to return a split decision.  When the majority affirms but Justice Garman wants to reverse, she more heavily questions the appellees – 2.67 to 1.67 for appellants.

For criminal reversals when Justice Garman joins the majority, she more heavily questions the losing appellees – 2.06 to 1.4 for appellants.  When the Court reverses but Justice Garman wants to affirm, she more heavily questions the appellants, 3.1 to 0.1 for appellees.  When the majority wants a split decision but Justice Garman wants to affirm, she more heavily questions the appellees – 1.25 to 0.75 for appellants.  When Justice Garman agrees with the majority in a split decision, she most heavily questions the appellants: 1.95 for appellants to 1.48 for appellees.

Join us back here next Tuesday as we turn our attention to Justice Kilbride.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Tripp (no changes).

What Are Justice Garman’s Question Patterns When She Disagrees With the Majority in Civil Cases?

For the last two weeks, we’ve been looking at the court-wide data for questions at oral argument.  We discussed the academic research into oral argument questions, which demonstrates that at the U.S. Supreme Court, the party which will lose the case generally gets the most questions.  We then looked at the data for the Illinois Supreme Court year by year since 2008.  Today, we’re digging deeper on that theme: do individual Justices follow the court-wide pattern of more heavily questioning the party which will lose the case?  What about when the Justice disagrees with the majority – does he or she more heavily question the party which is likely to lose the case, or the party he or she disagrees with?

First, we list every possible combination of results – the court’s result for the case and the Justice’s vote.  The Court can affirm, reverse or return a split decision: “affirmed in part, reversed (or vacated, or modified) in part.”  An individual Justice has the same three options.  Matching the court results to the Justice’s votes, we get nine possible combinations: A(ffirm)A, AR(everse), A/AR(split decision); RA, RR, R/AR, and AR/A, AR/AR and AR/R.  Since some of these combinations seldom occur in a given year, rather than reporting year by year, we’re combining all the data from 2008 to 2019.

We begin with Justice Garman’s results.  Justice Garman clearly questions losing appellants more heavily when she joins the majority in an affirmance – 1.93 questions to appellants, 1.19 questions to appellees.  When Justice Garman disagrees with an affirmance, she concentrates her questions on the appellees she believes should lose: 2.71 questions to appellees, 1 to appellants.  As for the third possibility – the Court affirms where Justice Garman prefers a split decision: it has never happened.

When Justice Garman joins the majority in a reversal, she more heavily questions the losing appellees: 2.37 questions to 1.4 for appellants.  When she dissents from a reversal, she more heavily questions the appellant she believes should lose – 3.25 for appellants, 1.13 for appellees.  When she votes for a split decision while the court is reversing, she averages 2.5 to appellants and 1 to appellees.  Finally, we turn to cases where the majority reaches a split decision.  When Justice Garman agrees with that result, she averages more questions to appellees: 1.97 to appellees, 1.52 to appellants.  When Justice Garman wants to affirm but the majority returns a split decision, she focuses on appellants – 3.0 to appellants, 0 to appellees.  When the majority wants a split decision but Justice Garman wants to reverse, she more heavily focuses on the appellees: 3 to appellees, 1 question average to appellants.

So over the past thirteen years, the data is fairly clear on the civil side: when Justice Garman agrees with the majority, she averages more questions to the party which will lose.  When she dissents, in whole or in part, she tends to focus on the party which she believes should lose.

Next time, we’ll address Justice Garman’s history in criminal cases.

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

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