Last time, we began our review of the Court’s recent history with employment law cases, covering the years 1990 through 1999. Today, our review continues with the years 2000 through 2009.
The Court’s employment law docket tailed off during our second ten years, from nineteen cases between 1990 and 1999 to fourteen in the period 2000-2009. However, the Court continued to accept for review slightly more defense wins from the Appellate Court than plaintiffs’ wins – eight defense, six plaintiffs.
Defendants were less successful at defending their Appellate Court wins at the Supreme Court, however, winning only three while losing five cases.
Plaintiffs who won their cases at the Appellate Court fared only slightly better during those years, winning three and losing three at the Supreme Court.
Overall, for the years 2000 through 2009, defendants in employment cases won six cases at the Supreme Court while losing eight.
In the next table, we review the subjects covered in the employment law cases. During these years, the Court predominantly decided cases involving wage/hour and collective bargaining issues. The Court decided eleven such cases, five cases involving tort or contract liability, two involving discrimination issues and two involving public employment.
In Table 1113, we review the total votes for employment law defendants cast by each Justice per year. Justice Garman most frequently supported defendants’ arguments, with nine votes, followed by Justices Thomas and Fitzgerald with seven votes apiece and Chief Justice Karmeier with six votes.
In our next Table, we review each Justice’s votes year by year against employment law defendants. Justice Kilbride led with nine votes, followed by Justices Thomas and Fitzgerald with seven apiece and Justice Freeman with six.
Between 2010 and 2018, employment law accounted for an even smaller slice of the Court’s civil docket – only seven cases in all. The Court decided three cases in 2011, one in 2012, two in 2013 and one in 2014.
In the past nine years, the employment law cases have been equally divided – three plaintiffs’ wins at the Appellate Court, three defendants’ wins. (If you’re wondering where the seventh case went, the Court decided an employment law case in 2012 on a certified question from the Seventh Circuit – so no one had won the case “below.”
Join us back here next time as we finish our review of the employment law data for the years 2010 to 2018.