Last week, we turned our attention to tracking how often each Justice voted with the majority in cases in which the Court reached a divided decision. In Part 1 of our series, we addressed the years 2000 through 2007. Today, we turn our attention to the Court’s civil docket between 2008 and 2015.
In Table 382 below, we show for each Justice the number of non-unanimous civil cases in which he or she voted with the majority. Chief Justice Thomas and Justices Fitzgerald, Freeman and Garman led the Court in 2008, with each voting nine times in the majority. Justice Karmeier voted with the majority eight times. Justice Burke voted with the majority seven times, and Justice Kilbride did so five times. In 2009, Chief Justice Fitzgerald led the Court with eight majority votes. Justices Burke, Freeman, Kilbride and Thomas each voted with the majority six times. Justice Garman did so five times, and Justice Karmeier four times. The next year, Chief Justice Fitzgerald and Justice Thomas led with eight majority votes apiece in civil cases. Justice Karmeier had seven, Justice Garman five, and Justices Burke, Freeman and Kilbride four apiece. Justice Theis, who joined the Court late in the year upon the retirement of Chief Justice Fitzgerald, voted with the majority once in 2010. In 2011, Justices Burke, Garman, Thomas and Karmeier each voted with the majority eight times in non-unanimous civil cases. Justice Theis voted with the majority six times, Justice Freeman five times and Chief Justice Kilbride three times.
In 2012, the Court began a two-year dip in its unanimity rate. Justice Burke led the Court, voting with the majority eighteen times in non-unanimous civil decisions. Justice Freeman did so seventeen times, and Justices Garman, Karmeier and Theis fifteen each. Justice Thomas voted with the majority thirteen times, and Chief Justice Kilbride eight. In 2013, Justices Garman and Theis were tied for the lead with thirteen majority votes apiece in divided civil cases. Justices Freeman, Thomas and Karmeier voted with the majority eleven times apiece, Justice Burke nine times and Chief Justice Kilbride six times.
The following year, Justices Thomas and Karmeier led the Court, each voting with the majority six times. Chief Justice Garman joined the majority five times in non-unanimous civil cases. Justice Theis did so four times, and Justices Burke, Freeman and Kilbride voted with the majority three times. Finally, in 2015, Chief Justice Garman voted with the majority nine times in non-unanimous civil cases. Justice Theis was next at eight. Justices Thomas and Karmeier joined the majority seven times apiece, Justice Burke did so six times, Justice Freeman five and Justice Kilbride three times.
Join us back here tomorrow as we turn our attention to the Court’s criminal docket between 2008 and 2015.