Archives: Voting Agreement Rates

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Which District/Division of the Appellate Court Averaged the Most Votes to Affirm Before the Supreme Court in Civil Cases (Part 1)?

For the past two weeks, we’ve been reviewing the reversal rates before the Supreme Court of each District and Division of the Appellate Court since 1990.  But not all affirmances (or reversals) are created equal.  A 4-3 reversal is arguably a different thing than a 7-0 reversal (and the same goes for affirmances by those … Continue Reading

Which Justices Voted Together Most Often in Civil Cases (Part 3 – 2010-2015)?

For the past two weeks, we’ve been studying the voting dynamics of the Illinois Supreme Court, tracking which Justices voted together most (and least) often in non-unanimous civil and criminal cases.  This week, we’ve arrived at the most recent data.  Today, we’re taking a look at agreement rates in civil cases from 2010 to 2015. … Continue Reading

Which Justices Voted Together Most Often in Criminal Cases (Part 2 – 2005-2009)?

Yesterday, we analyzed the agreement rates between all combinations of the Justices in non-unanimous civil cases between 2005 and 2009.  Today, we turn our attention to the Court’s criminal docket during the same years. We report the data for Chief Justice McMorrow, Justice Burke and Justice Garman in Table 404 below.  Chief Justice McMorrow’s closest … Continue Reading

Which Justices Voted Together Most Often in Civil Cases (Part 2 – 2005-2009)?

Last week, we began our study of the Court’s voting dynamics.  We analyzed agreement rates between all combinations of the Justices in non-unanimous civil and criminal cases between 2000 and 2004.  This week, we’ll turn our attention to the second five years of the period, 2005 to 2009.  We’ll begin with the Court’s civil cases.  … Continue Reading

Does Lopsided Questioning Signal a Unanimous Decision?

Yesterday, we addressed the principal question discussed in most previous scholarship looking at question patterns in appellate oral arguments: does the losing side average more questions? Today, we turn to a related question: do a party’s chances of winning fall as the questioning becomes more lopsided? What about the vote – is counsel who gets … Continue Reading

Which Illinois Supreme Court Justice Most Often Voted in the Majority, 2000-2014?

Today we conclude our analysis of voting patterns over the past fifteen years’ worth of civil cases on the Illinois Supreme Court by considering the entire fifteen year period – which Justices voted with the majority most often when the Court was split? The data below encompasses the entire tenure on the Court for every … Continue Reading

Agreement Rates at the Illinois Supreme Court, 2010-2014 (Part II)

Last week, we began our study of the voting patterns on the Illinois Supreme Court between 2010 and 2014 by considering the agreement rates between the Justices in non-unanimous civil cases. Now we turn to a different aspect of the issue: the question of swing votes on the Court. For most of the period, the … Continue Reading

Agreement Rates at the Illinois Supreme Court, 2010-2014 (Part I)

Yesterday, we addressed swing voter patterns at the Illinois Supreme Court between 2005 and 2009. Today, we turn to agreement rates between the Justices during the final five years of our study period, 2010 to 2014. The Court’s unanimity rate between 2010 and today presents us with a bit of a conundrum. In 2010 and … Continue Reading

Agreement Rates at the Illinois Supreme Court, 2005-2009 (Part II)

Yesterday, we looked at the evidence of a centrist voting bloc at the Court between 2005 and 2009, consisting of Chief Justice Thomas and Justices Garman and Karmeier, frequently joined by Justice Fitzgerald. Today, we look at the agreement rates among the remainder of the Justices. Justice Burke initially had quite high agreement rates with … Continue Reading

Agreement Rates at the Illinois Supreme Court, 2005-2009 (Part I)

With one seat on the Court switching from Democratic to Republican hands as a result of the 2004 election, a centrist majority of Chief Justice Thomas, Garman and Karmeier began to emerge, often joined by Justice Fitzgerald. As a result, with the exception of 2006 (when the unanimity rate abruptly dipped to 57.4%), the Court … Continue Reading

Who Were the Swing Votes at the Illinois Supreme Court, 2000-2004?

For the past two weeks, we’ve been taking an intensive look at the voting dynamics at the Illinois Supreme Court in civil cases. Today, we further probe our tentative conclusions by looking for swing votes on the Court. How often was each Justice in the majority when the Court was divided? The data largely confirms … Continue Reading

Agreement Rates at the Illinois Supreme Court, 2000-2004 (Part II)

Last week, we began our study of voting dynamics on the Illinois Supreme Court since 2000 by looking at agreement rates in non-unanimous civil cases between 2000-2004. Once again, to minimize extreme swings from one year to the next, we report three-year floating averages. With two plurality voting blocs on the Court during these years, … Continue Reading

Agreement Rates at the Illinois Supreme Court, 2000-2004 (Part I)

Finally, we reach the most important information of all about the Court from the viewpoint of an appellate lawyer: data about the Justices’ voting patterns. Because unanimity rates overstate the degree of agreement on the Court, we focus on voting patterns in the Court’s non-unanimous civil decisions. Because the number of non-unanimous civil decisions in … Continue Reading
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