Today, we’re beginning our examination of the voting record of Chief Justice Anne M. Burke. Chief Justice Burke took her seat on July 6, 2006. Through the end of 2020, she had voted in 463 civil cases.
It’s reasonable to suppose that the distribution of a Justice’s votes between affirmance and reversal might tell us something about what a vote to hear a particular case from that Justice might mean. Does she see the Court’s function as reining in one or more Appellate Courts? Does a vote from that Justice to allow a petition for leave to appeal suggest that she is likely to vote to reverse?
Justice Garman’s votes were almost perfectly split: 40.13% to affirm, 40% to reverse. Justice Theis has been a bit more inclined to reverse: 37.58% to affirm, 42.55% to reverse.
The Chief Justice has been significantly more inclined to reverse than Justice Theis. She has cast 163 votes to affirm in civil cases – 35.21% of her total – and 204 votes to affirm, or 44.06%. There are no particular time trends in her voting patterns. She has cast 70 split votes in civil cases – affirm in part and reverse/modify/vacate in part. She has cast 11 votes to vacate, 9 to deny, 5 “other” and 1 to grant.
Join us back here tomorrow as we review the voting record of one of the newer Justices, P. Scott Neville.