Yesterday, we showed that between 2000 and 2004, the Illinois Supreme Court reviewed more liberal Appellate Court decisions than conservative ones in most areas of the civil law. Today, we address the question left unanswered by that analysis: how does the Court’s reversal rate vary among areas of the law, depending on whether the Appellate Court decision was liberal or conservative?
As we see below, the Court’s reversal rate tended to vary considerably, based on whether the Court is reviewing a liberal or conservative Appellate Court decision. Although the Court had one more Democratic member during these years than it has since, the Court reversed 62.17% of liberal tort decisions and only 36.84% of conservative ones. In constitutional law, the Court reversed half of all liberal decisions, but only 28.57% of conservative ones. But in all the other major areas, the effect was reversed. The reversal rate on liberal decisions in government and administrative law was 50%, while the reversal rate of conservative decisions was 61.54%. The reversal rate for liberal decisions in civil procedure was 58.33%, while 64.71% of conservative civil procedure decisions were reversed. The Court reversed half of all liberal workers compensation decisions, but 60% of conservative ones. The reversal rate for liberal decisions in insurance law was 50%, while 80% of all conservative insurance law decisions were reversed. Just over half – 54.55% – of liberal domestic relations decisions were reversed, while three-quarters of conservative ones fell.
Join us back here next week as we turn to the criminal docket for the years 2000-2004. In the coming weeks, we’ll compare results on both sides of the docket for the years 2005 to 2009, and 2010 to 2015.