How Has Justice Thomas Voted in Tort Cases?

Through the end of 2019, Justice Thomas had voted in 141 tort cases. He voted for defendants in 93 of those cases and voted for plaintiffs 48 times.

Justice Thomas’ voting patterns in tort cases have remained relatively stable throughout his tenure. From 2001 to 2004, he voted 30 times for defendants, 16 for plaintiffs. Between 2005 and 2008, he voted 19 times for defendants, 10 for plaintiffs. From 2009 to 2012, he voted 24 times for defendants in tort cases to 11 for plaintiffs. Since that time, he has voted for defendants in 20 cases and for plaintiffs 11 times.

Only 47 of these 141 cases were won by defendants at the Appellate Court. Before the Supreme Court, Justice Thomas has voted to affirm defendants’ wins 31 times and voted to reverse, at least in part, in 16 cases. Between 2001 and 2004, Justice Thomas voted to affirm 13 of 16 tort defendants’ wins. From 2005 to 2008, he voted for defendants nine times, for plaintiffs five times. Since 2009, Justice Thomas has split his votes evenly, voting to affirm nine times and to reverse nine times in cases won by defendants below.

Justice Thomas has voted in 95 tort cases lost by defendants at the Appellate Court, voting to reverse at least in part 63 times and voting to affirm in 32 cases. From 2001 to 2004, Justice Thomas voted to reverse in 17 of 30 cases. From 2005 to 2008, he voted to reverse in 11 of 16. From 2009 to 2012, Justice Thomas voted to reverse 19 times and to affirm in 8 cases. Since 2013, he has voted to reverse in 16 cases of 22.

Join us back here tomorrow as we review Justice Karmeier’s voting record in tort cases.

Image courtesy of Flickr by FormulaOne (no changes).

How Has Justice Kilbride Voted in Tort Cases?

We’ve seen over the past several posts that tort defendants have fared well at the Court in the years since 1990. Justice Kilbride has been in the minority of many of these cases since 2001. For the years 2001 to 2019, Justice Kilbride has voted for tort defendants’ position in 73 cases while voting against defendants 79times. In 2002 and 2003, Justice Kilbride voted for defendants eight times while supporting the plaintiffs’ side 17 times. Since 2016, Justice Kilbride has voted in seven cases for defendants while supporting plaintiffs’ position in ten cases.

In cases won by tort defendants at the Appellate Court, Justice Kilbride has voted 23 times to affirm and 29 times to reverse. From 2008 to 2010, he voted to reverse in nine of thirteen such cases. From 2011 to 2019, he voted to reverse in seven of twelve cases.

Through the end of 2019, Justice Kilbride voted in 100 tort cases which the defendant had lost at the Appellate Court. He split his votes right down the middle – 50 times to reverse, 50 times to affirm. In 2005 and 2008, Justice Kilbride voted to reverse in 12 of 16 cases. Between 2009 and 2014, he voted to affirm in 20 of 36 cases lost by defendants below. Since then, he has voted to reverse in nine of 16 defendants’ losses.

Join us back here next Tuesday as we continue our review of the Justices’ voting records in tort cases.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Matthew Dillon (no changes).

How Has Justice Garman Voted in Tort Cases?

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been reviewing the Court’s thirty year record in civil tort cases – defendants’ overall won-loss records, the frequency with which the Court affirms (or reverses) defendants’ wins from the Appellate Court, and the frequency with which the Court reverses (or affirms) decisions lost by defendants below. Now let’s take a look at the individual Justices’ records, beginning with Justice Garman. But before beginning, we should clarify one point: we’re taking a binary view of “winning” and “losing” in this data. Appellate litigation routinely includes several different issues and the ultimate decision on appeal is “affirmed in part and reversed in part.” Sometimes the issue where a party “wins” is comparatively minor in the context of the whole case. But we’re not making that subjective judgment about these cases – our standard is that if an adverse judgment is reversed in any respect, the appellant has won and the respondent has lost.

Since joining the Court, Justice Garman has voted for tort defendants’ position in 100 cases, while supporting plaintiffs 53 times. In 2004-2005, she supported defendants in 13 cases while voting against them 5 times. From 2006 to 2009, Justice Garman voted for defendants’ position 27 times, and against in 13 cases. For the years 2011 through 2017, Justice Garman voted for defendants’ position 38 times, voting against in 13 cases.

Forty-nine tort cases where Justice Garman participated were won by the defendant below. Justice Garman voted to affirm 30 of those decisions and voted to reverse 19 times. From 2001 to 2007, Justice Garman voted to affirm 17 defense wins from the Appellate Court while voting to reverse 6 times. From 2008 to 2019, Justice Garman voted to affirm 13 times while voting to reverse 13 times.

Finally, Justice Garman voted to reverse decisions lost by tort defendants at the Appellate Court 70 times from 2001 to 2019 while voting to affirm 34 times. In 2004 and 2005, Justice Garman voted to reverse 10 of 14 tort decisions lost by defendants below. In 2008 and 2009, she voted to reverse in 10 of 13 cases. In 2012 and 2013, she voted to reverse defendants’ losses in 11 of 13 tort cases.

Join us back here tomorrow as we continue our review of the Justices’ voting records.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Sajith TS (no changes).

How Did Tort Defendants Fare at the Supreme Court, 2010-2019?

Tort defendants continued to fare quite well at the Supreme Court over the past ten years, winning 41 cases while losing 23. Defendants won nine of twelve cases in 2011, seven of ten in 2012, six of seven in 2015 and five of seven in 2017.

The Court reviewed relatively few decisions where defendants prevailed at the Appellate Court. For the years 2010-2019, tort defendants received affirmances in eight Appellate Court wins, while nine lower court wins were reversed by the Supreme Court.

Tort defendants fared very well, however, in getting decisions which they lost at the Appellate Court reversed by the Supreme Court. Overall, defendants won 33 of such cases, losing only 14. Defendants won 13 of 19 cases during the years 2011-2013. They were 6-1 in 2015 and from 2017 to 2019, defendants won five of seven cases.

Join us back here next Tuesday as we begin reviewing the individual Justices’ voting patterns in tort cases.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Soki (no changes).

How Did Tort Defendants Fare at the Supreme Court, 2000-2009?

Tort defendants had another good decade before the Supreme Court during the years 2000 to 2009, winning 64 cases and losing 42. In 2001, defendants won eight of nine cases. In 2004, tort defendants went 10-3. In 2009, defendants won six of eight.

In our next Table, we review the data on how tort defendants fared during these years seeking affirmance of decisions they won at the Appellate Court level. These cases were closely divided, with the Court affirming 22 tort defendant wins and reversing 17 times. Defendants were 4-1 in defending appellate victories in 2001 and again in 2004.

Tort defendants fared especially well during these years when they were trying to obtain reversal of decisions they had lost at the Appellate Court. Defendants won 42 of those cases while losing only 25. Defendants were 4-0 in attacking losses in 2001, 6-2 in 2004 and 6-1 in 2009.

Join us back here tomorrow as we review the data for the years 2010 to 2019.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Susan Rose (no changes).

How Did Tort Defendants Fare Before the Supreme Court 1990-1999?

Today, we’re beginning our review of voting records for a new area of law – tort.  Today and next week, we’ll be working our way through the data showing how tort defendants have fared at the Appellate Court since 1990: total wins and losses; wins from the Appellate Court affirmed (and reversed); and losses from below reversed or affirmed.

Not surprisingly, the Supreme Court decided a lot of tort cases from 1990 to 1999.  Across the entire decade, tort defendants won 99 cases at the Court while losing 75.  Defendants hit .500 during 1990 and 1991, winning 18 and losing 18, before going 9-19 in 1992 and 4-8 in 1993, but after that, the defendants fared fairly well, winning 68 of 98 cases.

For the first half of the decade, tort defendants struggled to retain their wins from the Appellate Court, winning affirmances in only 14 while getting reversed 20 times.  But things turned around from 1995 to 1999, as winning defendants from the Appellate Court won 15 at the Supreme Court while losing only 10.

Finally, how did tort defendants fare in cases they had lost at the Appellate Court?  Across the entire decade tort defendants won 70 cases which they had lost below while losing only 45.  In 1992 and 1993, defendants had eight wins to 17 losses, but they fared much better in the second half of the decade.  From 1995 to 1999, tort defendants won 44 cases they had lost below while losing only 14.

Join us back here next Wednesday as we turn our attention to the numbers for the years 2000 to 2009.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Claudia Wollesen (no changes).

How Did Justices Theis and Neville Vote in Cases Involving Insurer Parties?

Today, because insurer cases have been comparatively uncommon in recent years, we’re reviewing our final two sets of Justices’ voting records in a single post.  First, Justice Theis.

Since joining the Court, Justice Theis has participated in ten civil cases involving insurers as named parties, supporting the insurers in six of those cases and voting against the insurers in four.

Only two of those ten cases involved decisions won by the insurer at the Appellate Court.  Justice Theis voted to affirm once in those two cases and to reverse once.

The remaining eight cases all involved Appellate Court losses by insurers.  To date, Justice Theis has voted to reverse in five on those cases and to affirm three times.

Since joining the Court in 2018, Justice Neville has participated in two insurer cases, voting for the insurer’s position once and against once.  One of those cases had been won by the insurer below, and Justice Neville voted to reverse the insurer’s win.  The other case was lost by the insurer at the Appellate Court, and Justice Neville voted to reverse the insurer’s loss.

Join us back here tomorrow as we begin a new area in our subject matter review of the Justices’ voting records – tort law.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Skeeze (no changes).

How Has Chief Justice Burke Voted in Civil Cases With Insurer Parties?

We continue our analysis of the individual Justices’ voting records in insurance law cases with Chief Justice Burke.

During her tenure, the Chief Justice has sat on 24 civil cases involving insurer parties. She has split her votes down the middle: 12 votes for the insurer, 12 votes against. Those totals hold even when we consider a narrower span of years. From 2006 to 2010, Chief Justice Burke voted with insurer parties seven times and against them seven times. For the years 2011 to 2019, the Chief Justice has voted with insurers five times and against them five.

Relatively few of these cases involved decisions won by the insurer below. Across her tenure, the Chief Justice has voted to affirm decisions won by the insurer at the Appellate Court on four occasions (all four in 2007 and 2008) and has voted to reverse insurer wins five times.

Since joining the Court in 2006, Chief Justice Burke has voted to reverse in cases lost by the insurer at the Appellate Court eight times, while voting to affirm seven insurer losses. Between 2006 and 2012, the Chief Justice voted five times to reverse insurer losses while voting to affirm four times. From 2013 to last year, Chief Justice Burke has split her votes evenly in six cases – three to reverse, three to affirm.

Join us back here next Tuesday and we will wrap up our seven-part post on the Justices’ voting record in insurer cases.

Image courtesy of Pixabay by Steppinstars (no changes).

How Has Justice Karmeier Voted in Civil Cases With Insurer Parties?

Today, we’re continuing our seven-part post analyzing the individual Justices’ voting records in civil cases involving insurer parties.

Justice Karmeier joined the Court in 2005. Since that time, he has supported the insurer’s position in 18 civil cases, while opposing the insurer in 14 cases. From 2005 to 2008, he voted for insurers in 11 cases while voting against five times. However, since that time, as insurer cases have become a less frequent part of the Court’s docket, Justice Karmeier has voted with insurers seven times and against them in nine cases.

Next, we split the insurer cases into two groups by the winner at the Appellate Court. Between 2005 and 2008, Justice Karmeier voted to affirm seven decisions won by the insurer below while voting to reverse only twice. Since that time, the Court has considered only four cases won by the insurer parties below, and Justice Karmeier has voted to reverse in all four.

Between 2005 and 2008, Justice Karmeier voted to reverse decisions lost by an insurer party at the Appellate Court four times, while voting to affirm an insurer loss three times. Since 2009, he has voted to reverse seven decisions lost by the insurer below while voting to affirm five times.

Join us back here tomorrow when we will consider the voting record in insurance law cases of Chief Justice Burke.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Alan Light (no changes).

How Did Justice Thomas Vote in Civil Cases With Insurer Parties?

Today, we address the voting record of Justice Thomas throughout his entire tenure on the Court in civil cases involving an insurer party. Since 2001, Justice Thomas has voted for insurers’ position in 23 civil cases while voting against insurers 20 times. From 2001 to 2010, Justice Thomas voted for insurers 18 times to 15 votes against. From 2011 to 2019, Justice Thomas split his votes down the middle in ten civil cases involving insurer parties.

Between 2001 and 2010, Justice Thomas voted to affirm nine times in cases won by an insurer party below, voting to reverse seven times. Since 2011, he has voted to reverse in both insurer cases.

Between 2001 and 2010, Justice Thomas voted to reverse in nine cases lost by an insurer party below while voting to affirm eight times. From 2011 to 2019, he voted to reverse insurer losses five while voting to affirm three times.

Join us back here next Tuesday as we address two more Justices’ voting records in insurer cases.

Image courtesy of Pixabay by Steppinstars (no changes).

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