Last week, we began the final phase of our review of the Justices’ opinion writing with a look at the majority and concurring opinions for the years 2010 through 2014. Today, we turn to the Justices’ dissents.
Between 2010 and 2014, the Justices filed dissents at a comparable rate to the 2005-2009 period. Chief Justice Kilbride filed fewer special concurrences, but he was once again the most frequent dissenter on the centrist Court, followed by Justice Charles Freeman. Following those two Justices, the remaining members of the Court dissented with close to the same frequency.
Turning to the length of the most recent dissents, we find an interesting result: although the Court’s majority opinions are trending shorter, the Justices’ dissents are somewhat longer than they were in the previous five years, particularly in the middle of the period, when the Court’s unanimity rate briefly drifted below sixty percent.
Tomorrow, we begin our analysis of the Court’s voting dynamics between 2000 and 2014 – in non-unanimous civil cases, which Justices voted together most and least often? Have there been any identifiable voting blocs on the Court?