Last week, we began our study of voting dynamics on the Illinois Supreme Court since 2000 by looking at agreement rates in non-unanimous civil cases between 2000-2004. Once again, to minimize extreme swings from one year to the next, we report three-year floating averages.
With two plurality voting blocs on the Court during these years, the two remaining seats on the Court – Justice Heiple and his successor, Justice Kilbride, and Chief Justice Harrison and his successor, Justice Rarick – arguably held the balance of power. Although Justice Rarick often voted with Justice Fitzgerald, his agreement rates were far less with Justices Garman and Thomas, suggesting that he was not often providing a fourth vote for the Garman-Thomas-Fitzgerald bloc.
Tomorrow, we complete our analysis of the years between 2000 and 2004 by looking at the voting data in a somewhat different way – how often was each Justice in the majority of a non-unanimous civil decision?