For the past few weeks, we’ve been studying the Court’s collective and individual voting records in tort cases. Chief Justice Burke participated in ninety civil tort cases since taking her seat on the Court. She has voted for defendants’ position (at least in part) in 57 cases and voted for plaintiffs 33 times. Between 2006 and 2010, she cast 18 votes for defendants and 17 for plaintiffs. From 2011 to 2015, she voted for defendants 30 times and for plaintiffs in 8 cases. Since that time, she has cast nine votes for defendants and eight for plaintiffs.
Twenty-nine of these cases were won by the defendants at the Appellate Court. The Chief Justice voted to affirm 11 of those defense wins and voted to reverse 18 times. From 2006 to 2010, she voted to affirm only five times and voted to reverse in twelve cases. Since 2011, the Chief Justice has evenly split her votes in twelve cases – six to affirm, six to reverse.
The Chief Justice has participated in 62 tort cases lost by the defendants below. Since taking her seat, she has voted to reverse 46 times and voted to affirm 16 times. From 2006 to 2010, she voted to reverse defense losses 13 times and to affirm in 5 cases. Since that time, she has voted to reverse, at least in part, three-quarters of 44 tort defendants’ losses.
Join us back here tomorrow as we turn our attention to Justices Theis and Neville.