Yesterday, we looked at the prevalence of Rule 23 orders (unpublished decisions) as a fraction of the Appellate Court’s workload. Now we turn to the data – how much of the Illinois Supreme Court’s civil caseload consists of Rule 23 orders?
Given that a Rule 23 order should in theory break no new legal ground and is not citable in the trial courts as precedent, one would expect Rule 23 orders to be quite rare on the Supreme Court’s civil docket. But for most of our fifteen-year study period, they were not. Although published opinions make up three quarters to four-fifths of the Court’s civil docket in most years, Rule 23 orders are by no means a disqualifier for Supreme Court review:
Next time, we turn to our central questions: the Illinois Supreme Court’s decision-making process.