In our last three posts, we’ve been addressing where in the state the Illinois Supreme Court’s civil docket comes from. Now, we turn to another issue we addressed briefly several posts earlier – what areas of the law does the Court’s case load come from.
One of the advantages of studying so extensive a period is the opportunity to see the Court develop most areas of the law. Indeed, one would expect during a span of fifteen years that the Court would visit most important questions in the civil law at least once. For the reasons discussed above, we expect tort law, government and regulatory law and perhaps domestic relations to dominate the Court’s docket. We turn then to the question of how the Court’s civil docket has evolved between 2000 and 2014.
During the first five years of our study period, torts, civil procedure, and cases involving the regulatory state and suits against the government dominated the Court’s civil docket. Surprisingly, the Court showed a significant interest in constitutional and workers compensation cases during these five years. As one might expect from the academic literature referenced above, the Court heard a number of domestic relations cases. Property law continued to fade as a prominent part of the docket.
In our next post, we’ll address the areas of law found in the Court’s civil docket between 2005 and 2009.