For the past two weeks, we’ve been reviewing the Justices’ agreement rates in divided civil cases across the period 1990 to 2018, working six years at a time. Today, we’ve reached our fifth and last post on the civil docket, reviewing the years 2014 to 2018. As we did last time, to facilitate comparisons for a single Justice and his or her colleagues, we group the results Justice by Justice.
Justice Burke’s highest agreement rate was with Justice Neville. Justices Burke and Neville agreed in all five divided civil cases last year after Justice Neville joined the Court. Justices Burke and Freeman had an agreement rate of 79.31%. Justices Burke and Theis had an agreement rate of 73.53%. Justice Burke’s agreement rate was in the sixties for three of her four remaining colleagues (Justice Karmeier – 67.65%, Justice Thomas – 65.63%, and Justice Garman – 64.71%.
Justice Garman’s highest agreement rates in divided civil cases were with Justice Thomas (84.38%), Justice Neville (80%) and Justice Karmeier (79.41%). Her agreement rate with three Justices was in the sixties – Justice Freeman (68.97%) and Justices Burke and Theis (both 64.71%). She agreed with Justice Kilbride in only 47.06% of divided civil cases.
Justice Freeman’s closest two matches in terms of agreement rate were Justices Burke (79.31%) and Theis (75%). Justices Freeman and Garman agreed in 68.97% of divided civil cases. Justices Freeman and Thomas agreed in 59.38%, and Justices Freeman and Kilbride had an agreement rate of 52.94%. Justice Freeman and Chief Justice Karmeier agreed in 44.12% of divided civil cases.
As we noted above, Justice Neville participated in five divided civil decisions in 2018. He agreed with Justice Burke in all five, with Chief Justice Karmeier and Justices Garman, Thomas and Theis in four of five, and with Justice Kilbride in two of five.
Justice Kilbride’s agreement rate was over 50% only with Justice Freeman – 52.94%. His rate with Justices Garman and Theis was 47.06%. Justices Kilbride and Thomas had an agreement rate of 40.63%, and his rate with Justice Neville, as mentioned above, was 40%. Justice Kilbride’s lowest agreement rate was with Chief Justice Karmeier – 32.35%.
Justice Thomas agreed with his two Republican colleagues in a large majority of divided civil cases – Chief Justice Karmeier, 87.5%, and Justice Garman, 84.38%. Justices Thomas and Theis agreed 68.75% of the time. Justices Thomas and Burke had an agreement rate of 65.63%. Justices Thomas and Freeman agreed 59.38% of the time. Justices Thomas and Kilbride agreed in only 40.63% of divided civil cases.
With the exception of Justice Neville’s five cases in 2018, the Chief Justice’s highest agreement rates were with his Republican colleagues, Justices Thomas (87.5%) and Garman (79.41%). Chief Justice Karmeier and Justice Burke had an agreement rate of 67.65%. He agreed with Justice Theis in 58.82% of divided civil cases, and with Justice Freeman in 44.12%. Chief Justice Karmeier agreed with Justice Kilbride only 32.35% of the time.
Justice Theis’ highest agreement rates among the Justices who served the entire six years were with Justice Freeman (75%) and Justice Burke (73.53%). Justices Theis and Thomas agreed in 68.75% of cases, and Justices Theis and Garman had an agreement rate of 64.71%. Justice Theis’ agreement rate with Chief Justice Karmeier was 58.82%. Her agreement rate with Justice Kilbride was 47.06%.
Join us back here tomorrow as we begin our review of the Court’s criminal docket voting with the years 1990 through 1995.