Yesterday, we began a close look at the reversal rates in the Illinois Supreme Court’s civil docket between 2005 and 2009. Now, we turn to the central question: what were the Court’s reversal rates in its most common areas of the law for liberal and conservative Appellate Court decisions?
Despite the more equal distribution of cases, certain trends emerge when we turn to subject-by-subject reversal rates. During these five years, the Court continued to reverse liberal Appellate Court decisions involving tort issues at a significantly higher rate than conservative decisions (although the reversal rate on conservative tort decisions increased significantly). Liberal decisions in constitutional law – nearly always decisions holding a statute unconstitutional – were reversed at a much higher rate than conservative decisions as well. Liberal decisions in insurance law were reversed at a very high rate, while the Court reviewed four liberal decisions in workers compensation law and affirmed them all.
Next week, we turn to the final five years of our study period, 2010-2014.