Yesterday, we began our review of the Illinois Supreme Court’s experience with amicus briefs with the data for civil cases between 2000 and 2007.
Amicus briefs were far less common on the criminal side of the docket during these early years of our period. The Court accepted three amicus briefs in non-unanimous criminal decisions in 2000, and one each among unanimous criminal decisions in 2001, non-unanimous criminal decisions in 2002 and 2004, and unanimous criminal decisions in 2004. In 2006, the Court accepted three amicus briefs in non-unanimous criminal decisions.
All this, of course, adds up to a very low median number of amicus briefs per case for criminal cases. In 2000, the Court averaged 0.05 amicus briefs in non-unanimous decisions. The following year, the Court averaged 0.3 briefs in unanimous decisions. The following year, the Court averaged 0.03 amicus briefs in non-unanimous cases. In 2004, the Court averaged 0.8 amicus briefs in non-unanimous criminal cases to 0.02 briefs per case in unanimous decisions. Finally, in 2006, the Court averaged 0.2 amicus briefs per non-unanimous decision.
Join us back here next week as we turn our attention to amicus briefs between 2008 and 2015.