For the past few weeks, we’ve been looking at the data for the Justices’ agreement rates in non-unanimous cases – in other words, how often did each possible combination of the seven Justices vote the same way in a case which had at least one dissenter. Today, we’re looking at criminal cases between 2008 and 2013. For purposes of the agreement rates, the only thing we’re looking at is the outcome – even if Justice A signed the majority opinion affirming, and Justice B wrote a special concurrence saying that she agreed that the decision below had to be affirmed, but otherwise disagreed with everything in the majority opinion, that’s still agreement for our purposes. Since we’re now in a period with nearly the same Justices we have today, we’re arranging the data Justice by Justice in order to better identify each Justices’ leanings.
Justice Burke’s closest match by far was Justice Freeman, with an agreement rate of 86.15%. Three Justices were in the forties – Justice Theis (48.48%), Justice Kilbride (47.69%) and Justice Fitzgerald (46.88%). Justices Burke and Karmeier had an agreement rate of 35.94%. The last two Justices were in the twenties – Justice Thomas (27.69%) and Garman (26.15%).
Justice Garman’s closest match was Justice Karmeier at 93.75%, but Justice Thomas (86.15%) and Justice Fitzgerald (84.38%) were right behind. Justices Garman and Theis had an agreement rate of 72.73%. Justices Garman and Kilbride were at 60%, and Justices Garman and Burke were at 26.15%.
As we mentioned above, Justices Freeman and Burke had an agreement rate of 86.15%. Justices Freeman and Theis were at 51.52%. Justices Kilbride and Fitzgerald were in the forties – 49.23% and 40.63%, respectively. Justice Karmeier (34.38%) and Garman (30.77%) were in the thirties. Justices Freeman and Thomas agreed in only 29.23% of divided criminal cases.
Justice Kilbride’s closest match during these years was Justice Fitzgerald at 75%. Four Justices were in the sixties – Theis (66.67%), Karmeier (62.5%), Thomas (61.54%) and Garman (60%). Justices Kilbride and Freeman had an agreement rate of 49.23% and Justices Kilbride and Burke were at 47.69%.
Justice Thomas’ closest match was Justice Karmeier, with an agreement rate of 92.19%. Justices Thomas and Garman were at 86.15%. Justices Thomas and Fitzgerald were at 71.88%. Two Justices were in the sixties – Justice Theis (63.64%) and Kilbride (61.54%). Two Justices were in the twenties – Justice Freeman (29.23%) and Burke (27.69%).
Justice Karmeier’s agreement rate during these years was in the nineties with both of his current Republican colleagues – Justice Garman (93.75%) and Justice Thomas (92.19%). He agreed in 83.87% of divided criminal cases with Justice Fitzgerald. Two Justices were in the sixties – Justice Theis (66.67%) and Justice Kilbride (62.5%). Two were in the thirties – Justice Burke (35.94%) and Justice Freeman (34.38%).
Justice Fitzgerald (who was Chief Justice in the final years of his tenure) agreed with two Republicans at least eighty percent of the time – Justices Garman (84.38%) and Karmeier (83.87%). Two Justices were in the seventies – Justice Kilbride (75%) and Justice Thomas (71.88%). Two more were in the forties – Justice Burke (46.88%) and Justice Freeman (40.63%).
Finally, Justice Theis’ closest match was Justice Garman, at 72.73%. Three more Justices were in the sixties – Justices Kilbride and Karmeier (both at 66.67%) and Thomas (63.64%). Justice Freeman was at 51.52% and Justices Theis and Burke agreed in 48.48% of divided cases.
Join us back here next time as we turn our attention to the years 2014 to 2018.