Last time, we reviewed the Court’s unanimity rate in civil cases. This time, we’re looking at the data for how the Court’s civil decisions were distributed between one, two and three dissenting votes.

In 1990, one and two dissenter cases were 8.99% of the civil docket apiece. Three-dissenter cases accounted for only 3.37%. Two dissenter cases were slightly higher in 1991 than one-dissenter; there were no three dissenter cases. In 1992, two dissenter cases were 15.22% to 13.04% for one dissenter cases. Three dissenter civil cases were only 4.35%. In 1993, dissent increased: 23.68% of the Court’s civil decisions had one dissenter. 10.53% had two dissenters and 2.63% had three dissenters. In 1994, two dissenters accounted for a 3% larger share, while only 5.33% of the cases had three dissenters. In 1995, 17.86% had two dissenters, 12.5% had one and 7.14% had three. In 1996, one and three dissenters were an equal share – 9.09%. Twenty percent of the decisions had two dissenters. In 1997, 22.22% had one dissenter, 15.87% had two and 12.7% had three. In 1998, fully one quarter of the civil decisions had one dissenter – 25.35%. Two dissenters were 14.08% and 12.68% had three dissenters. In 1999, 24.39% of the civil cases had one dissenter, 9.76% had two dissenters and 17.07% had three.

In 2000, 18.42% of the civil decisions had two dissenters, 15.79% had one and 7.89% had three. In 2001, the unanimity rate increased – 9.8% two dissenters, 7.84% one dissenter and 7.84% three. In 2002, 12% of the civil decisions had one dissenter, 16% had two and 6% had three. In 2003, 15.22% had two dissenters, 10.87% had one and 4.35% had three. In 2004, 11.11% of the civil cases had three dissenters; 7.41% had one and 7.41% had two. In 2005, 14.58% had one dissenter and 4.17% had two. In 2006, 24.49% of the civil cases had one dissenter, 10.2% had two and 8.16% had three. In 2007, 9.76% had one dissenter, 7.32% had two and 2.44% had three. In 2008, the same fraction of the docket had one, two and three dissenters – 9.52%. In 2009, 7.32% of the civil cases had one dissenter and 9.76% had two.

In 2010, 12.12% of the civil docket had two dissenters, 9.09% had one and 6.06% had three. In 2011, 10.53% had one dissenter, 7.89% had two and 5.26% had three. In 2012, 17.5% of the civil cases had two dissenters, 15% had one and 12.5% had three. In 2013, 20.59% of the civil cases had one dissenter, 17.65% had two and only 2.94% had three. In 2014, the distribution was equal: 7.41% one, two and three dissenters. In 2015, 9.09% had one dissenter, 6.82% had two and 4.55% had three. In 2016, 14.29% of the Court’s civil decisions had one dissenter, 3.57% had two and 7.14% had three. The following year, there were more three dissenter cases – 11.54% – than one or two (both 3.85%). In 2018, 18.18% had one dissenter, 9.09% had two and 9.09% had three. So far this year, 8.7% of the Court’s civil cases had one and three dissenters and 4.35% had two.

Join us back here on Tuesday as we look at the data for the criminal docket.

Image courtesy of Flickr by COD Newsroom (no changes).