Yesterday, we reviewed our data for oral arguments in civil cases from 2008 through 2015. Today, we turn our attention to the Court’s criminal, quasi-criminal, juvenile and disciplinary docket.
In Table 413, we report the total questions asked by each Justice in criminal cases. Since 2008, the Court has asked 8,764 questions in criminal matters. The heaviest questioner is once again Justice Thomas, with 2,623 questions. Justice Burke is next with 1,066 questions. Although Justice Fitzgerald was a fairly active questioner across the board, he was noticeably more active in criminal cases, asking 1,054 questions between 2008 and his retirement in 2010. Justice Garman asked 1,047 questions. Justice Freeman has asked 904 questions, Justice Karmeier 842, Justice Theis 716 and Justice Kilbride 512.
In Table 414, we report the same data as a percentage of the whole. We see here that calculated as a fraction of the entire Court’s questions, Justice Thomas is slightly less active in criminal matters than in civil ones, accounting for 29.93% of the Court’s questions. Together, Justice Fitzgerald and Justice Theis have accounted for 20.2% – 12.03% by Justice Fitzgerald, 8.17% by Justice Theis. Justice Burke has accounted for 12.16% of the questions, Justice Garman 11.95%, Justice Freeman 10.31%, Justice Karmeier 9.61%, and Justice Kilbride has accounted for 5.84% of the questions. Justices Burke, Karmeier and Theis are about equally active in civil and criminal matters. Justices Freeman and Fitzgerald have been at least slightly more active in criminal cases, and Justices Garman, Kilbride and Thomas at least somewhat less active.
In Table 414, we divide the data into segments of the argument. Justice Thomas has been the most active questioner in each segment – 1,224 questions to appellants, 1,074 to appellees, and 325 in rebuttal. Among appellants, Justice Garman is second, having asked 518 questions. Justice Freeman is next at 503. Justice Burke has asked 487 questions. Justice Fitzgerald asked 470 questions. Justice Theis has asked 364 questions, Justice Karmeier 351, and Justice Kilbride has asked 182 questions.
Among appellees, Justice Burke is second with 490 questions. Justice Fitzgerald has asked 441 questions. Justice Garman has asked 432, Justice Karmeier 361, Justice Freeman 359 and Justice Kilbride 220 questions. During rebuttal, Justice Fitzgerald is second with 143 questions. Justice Karmeier has asked 130, Justice Kilbride 110, Justice Garman 97, Justice Theis 95, Justice Burke 89, and Justice Freeman has asked 42 questions.
Join us back here next Tuesday as we address a new issue in our analysis of the Court’s oral arguments.