Yesterday, we began our examination of trends in the Illinois Supreme Court’s civil and criminal dissents.  We discovered that dissents were at an extremely high level on the criminal side, and somewhat elevated on the civil side, but have settled down in the years since.  The average length of the civil and criminal dissents started


This week, we conclude our analysis of trends in the length of the Court’s opinions with a look at the Justices’ dissents.

First, let’s turn to the most fundamental question – just how common are dissents?  The data reported in Table 345 is not total cases in which at least one dissent was filed, which

6883885357_85363f726e_zLast week, we began the final phase of our review of the Justices’ opinion writing with a look at the majority and concurring opinions for the years 2010 through 2014. Today, we turn to the Justices’ dissents.

Between 2010 and 2014, the Justices filed dissents at a comparable rate to the 2005-2009 period. Chief Justice

4515769681_a7461030aa_zYesterday, we continued our close look at the Justices’ writing during our second five year period with a review of the special concurrences between 2005 and 2009. Today, we turn to the Justices’ dissents.

Given that special concurrences are generally written to express at least mild disagreement with the majority’s views, it is not surprising

6623181715_da9ec3523d_zLast week, we began our review of the individual Justices’ writing with a close look at the majority and concurring decisions for the first five years of our study period, 2000-2004. Today we turn to the Court’s dissents over the same period.

The Court’s most common dissenters between 2000 and 2004 were three of the

497364007_b28f03366a_zYesterday, we addressed the length of majority opinions at the Illinois Supreme Court between 2000 and 2014. Today, we turn to concurrences and dissents.

Because they are structured differently, we expect special concurrences and dissents to follow the lead of the majority opinion in the same case: longer where the case is more complex, shorter