What Are Justice Kruger’s Question Patterns When She Disagrees With the Majority in Criminal Cases?

When Justice Kruger votes with the majority in a criminal case, she follows the expected pattern, more heavily questioning the losing party.  When she joins the majority in an affirmance, she averages 2.38 questions to appellants and 1.91 to respondents.  When she joins the majority in a reversal, she averages 3.6 questions to respondents and 3 to appellants.  When she joins the majority in a split decision, she averages 1.77 questions to respondents and 1.68 to appellants.

When Justice Kruger dissents, she more heavily questions the side she is voting against, rather than the side the majority has found against.  When the majority affirms but she votes to reverse, she averages 6.67 questions to respondents and 5 to appellants.  When the majority reverses but she votes to affirm, she averages 7 questions to appellants, 6 to respondents.

When the majority affirms but Justice Kruger supports a split result, she averages 2.25 questions to appellants and 2.5 to respondents.  When the majority reverses but Justice Kruger supports a split result, she averages 2 questions to each side.  When the majority affirms in part and reverses in part but Justice Kruger votes to reverse outright, she averages 10 questions to respondents and 4.5 to appellants.

Join us back here next week as we continue our review of the oral argument data.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Denise Olson (no changes).

What Are Justice Kruger’s Question Patterns When She Disagrees With the Majority in a Civil Case?

This week, we’re reviewing Justice Kruger’s oral argument question totals to see what we can infer from the data on her likely vote.

Contrary to the usual pattern, Justice Kruger generally more heavily questions appellants than respondents in civil cases.  When she votes with the majority in an affirmance, she averages 5.52 questions to appellants and 4.54 to respondents.  When she votes with the majority in a reversal, she averages 5.11 to appellants and 4.97 to respondents.  When she votes with the majority in a split decision – affirmed in part, reversed in part – she averages 6.43 questions to appellants, 5.57 to respondents.

When Justice Kruger dissents from the majority in a civil case, she more heavily questions the side she is voting against.  When the majority affirms but Justice Kruger votes to reverse, she averages 16 questions to respondents, 8 to appellants.  When the majority reverses but Justice Kruger votes to affirm, she averages 7.5 questions to appellants and 5.5 to respondents.

Join us back here next time as we review the data for Justice Kruger in criminal cases.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Denise Olson (no changes).

What Are Justice Cuellar’s Question Patterns When He Disagrees With the Majority in Criminal Cases?

We determined last time that Justice Cuellar tends to more heavily question appellants than respondents in civil cases regardless of how the majority is leaning.  This time, we’re looking at the data for criminal cases.

Unlike civil cases, when Justice Cuellar joins the majority in criminal cases, he follows the expected pattern – he more heavily questions the party likely to lose.  When he joins the majority in an affirmance, he averages 2.38 questions to appellants and 1.91 to respondents.  When he joins the majority in a reversal, he averages 3.6 to respondents, only 3 to appellants.  When he joins the majority in a mixed decision – affirmed in part, reversed in part – it’s almost a wash: 1.68 questions to appellants, 1.77 to respondents.

When Justice Cuellar dissents in a criminal case, he generally tends to more heavily question the party he is voting against rather than the party likely to lose.  When the majority affirms but he wants to reverse, he averages 6.67 questions to respondents, 5 to appellants.  When the majority reverses but he wants to affirm, he averages 7 questions to appellants, 6 to respondents.

Although the numbers for mixed results are much smaller data sets, the numbers are less conclusive.  When the majority affirms but Justice Cuellar favors a split result, he averages 2.5 questions to respondents and 2.25 to appellants.  When the majority reverses but he wants a split result, he equally splits his questions: 2 to appellants, 2 to respondents.  When the majority supports a split result but Justice Cuellar wants to reverse outright, he averages 10 questions to respondents and 4.5 to appellants.

Join us back here next week as we continue our review of the oral argument data.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Gabriel White (no changes).

What Are Justice Cuellar’s Question Patterns When He Disagrees With the Majority in Civil Cases?

For the past few weeks, we’ve been reviewing individual Justices’ questioning at oral argument in civil and criminal cases since the Court first started posting argument videos in 2016.  The question is this: if as a general matter, the party likely to lose the case gets more questions at oral argument, can we use argument analytics to spot likely dissenters?  In other words, does a Justice likely to dissent ask more questions of the side he or she thinks should lose or the side the majority thinks should lose?  This week, we’re looking at the data for Justice Cuellar, civil cases first.

In civil cases where he joins the majority, Justice Cuellar diverges from the norm.  Although the numbers are closer in reversals, he tends to more heavily question the appellant in all cases where he’s in the majority.  In affirmances, he averages 5.52 questions to appellants and 4.54 to respondents.  In reversals, he averages 5.11 to appellants and 4.97 to respondents.  When Justice Cuellar joins the majority in a split decision – affirmed in part, reversed in part – he averages 6.43 questions to appellants and 5.57 to respondents.

But when he’s dissenting, there is a noticeable difference.  When the majority affirms but he wants to reverse, he averages 16 questions to respondents and only eight to appellants.  When the majority reverses but he wants to affirm, he averages 7.5 to appellants and 5.5 to respondents.

Join us back here later today as we review the data for Justice Cuellar’s record in criminal cases.

Image courtesy of Flickr by John Haslam (no changes).

What Are Justice Liu’s Question Patterns When He Disagrees With the Majority in Criminal Cases?

Today, we’re concluding our review of Justice Liu’s patterns in oral argument with a look at the criminal cases he’s participated in.

You’ll recall that Justice Liu did not follow the usual pattern even when in the majority in civil cases – he questioned the respondent more heavily regardless of the eventual result.  The data for criminal cases is similar.  When in the majority of an affirmance, he has averaged 1.79 questions to respondents and 0.88 to appellants.  When he joins the majority reversing, he averages 2.77 questions to respondents and 2.15 to appellants.  When he joins the majority in a split decision – affirmed in part, reversed in part – he averages 2.03 questions to respondents and 1.26 to appellants.

The pattern holds when Justice Liu is in the minority of an affirmance.  When the majority affirms but he votes to reverse, he averages 1.37 questions to respondents and 0.33 to appellants.  When the majority affirms but he votes for a split decision, he averages 5 questions to respondent, 1.65 to appellants.

When the majority reverses but Justice Liu votes to affirm, he averages 2.71 questions to respondent and 2 to appellants.  When the majority reverses but Justice Liu votes for a split result (a small data set, even in five years of arguments), he averages 19 questions to appellants and 10 to respondents.  Finally, when the majority returns a split decision (an even smaller data set), he averages 20.5 questions to respondents and only 1 to appellants.

Join us back here next Thursday as we continue our review of the individual Justices’ records in oral argument.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Rich Anderson (no changes).

What Are Justice Liu’s Question Patterns When He Disagrees With the Majority in Civil Cases?

This week, we’re reviewing Justice Liu’s question patterns.  As before, our purpose is both to determine whether Justice Liu follows the overall trend when he’s in the majority – more heavily questioning the party that will lose – but also what happens when Justice Liu is dissenting.  Does he more heavily question the party that will lose the case, or the party he believes should lose the case?

Interestingly, Justice Liu doesn’t follow the usual pattern even when he’s in the majority – he tends to question the respondent more heavily, regardless of what the decision will be.  When he joins a majority affirming, he averages 5.7 questions to respondents and only 4.84 to appellants.  When he joins a majority to reverse, he averages 6.27 questions to respondents and 4.94 to appellants.  When he joins a majority in a split decision – “affirmed in part, reversed in part” – he averages 6.14 questions to appellants and 3.71 to respondents.

When the majority affirms but Justice Liu votes to reverse, he much more heavily questions the respondent – an average of 13 questions to only 4.33 for appellants.  When he dissents from a reversal, he averages 6.33 questions to appellants but only 4 to respondents.

Finally, when the majority affirms but Justice Liu votes for a split result, he averages 17 questions to respondents but only 2 to appellants.  When the majority reverses but he votes for a split result, it’s the reverse – 10 questions to appellants and only 3 to respondents.

Join us back here tomorrow as we review the numbers for Justice Liu’s criminal cases.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Allan Henderson (no changes).

What Are Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye’s Question Patterns in Criminal Cases When She Disagrees With the Majority?

When the Chief Justice joins an affirmance in criminal cases, she averages 3.49 questions to appellants and 1.53 questions to respondents.  When she joins the majority in a reversal, she averages 3.22 questions to respondents, 2.68 to appellants.  When she joins the majority in a split decision, she averages 4.23 questions to appellants, 1.55 to respondents.

When the Chief Justice dissents from a criminal affirmance, she averages 5 questions to appellants, 2 to respondents.  When the Chief Justice dissents from a criminal reversal, she averages 11 questions to appellants, 2.67 to respondents.

When the majority votes to affirm but the Chief Justice votes for a split decision, she averages 4.5 questions to appellants, 1 to respondents.  When the majority votes for a split decision but the Chief Justice votes to affirm, she averages 6.5 questions to appellants and 1 to respondents.

Join us back here next week as we continue our review of the Justices’ oral argument records.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Scott Gustin (no changes).

What Are Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye’s Question Patterns in Civil Cases When She Disagrees With the Majority?

A few weeks ago, we established that court-wide, the party which is likely to lose tends to get the most questions in oral argument.  Now, we’re investigating individual Justices’ records – when the Justice agrees with the majority, does he or she follow the usual pattern, and when he or she doesn’t agree, does the Justice more heavily question that party that will lose, or the party he or she thinks should lose?  This week, we’re looking at Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye’s data.

When the Chief Justice joins the majority in a civil affirmance, she more heavily questions the losing party – appellants, 5.04 questions, respondents, 2.69.  When she’s in the majority of a reversal, she averages 4.58 questions to respondents, 3.15 to appellants.  When the Chief Justice agrees with a split decision, she averages 4.69 questions to appellants, 4.31 to respondents.

When the Chief Justice dissents from a civil affirmance, she averages 1 question to respondents, 0 to appellants.  When she dissents from a reversal, she averages 6 questions to appellants, 1 to respondents.

When the Chief Justice votes for a split decision, but the majority affirms, she averages 4 questions to respondents, 3 to appellants.  When she votes for a split decision but the majority reverses, she averages 12 questions to appellants, 3 to respondents.

Join us back here tomorrow as we review the Chief Justice’s record in criminal case oral arguments.

Image courtesy of Flickr by James Bachleda (no changes).

What Are Justice Corrigan’s Question Patterns When She Disagrees With the Majority in Criminal Cases?

Today we’re reviewing Justice Corrigan’s questioning data in criminal cases.

When Justice Corrigan agrees with a criminal affirmance, she more heavily questions the losing appellants – 6.97 to appellants, 2.11 to respondents.  When Justice Corrigan wants to reverse but the majority is affirming, she concentrates on the respondents – 18 questions to respondents, 1 to appellants.  There have been few questions where the Court affirmed but Justice Corrigan wanted to return a split decision, she more heavily questions the appellants: 12.5 to appellants, 0 to respondents.

When Justice Corrigan joins the majority in a reversal, she more heavily questions the respondents: 6.32 for respondents, 3.98 for appellants.  When Justice Corrigan votes to affirm but the majority reverses, she focuses on the appellants: 9 questions for appellants, 2.67 for respondents.  When Justice Corrigan votes with the majority in a split decision – affirmed in part, reversed in part – she more heavily questions the appellants, 4.86 to 3.95.  There have been few cases where Justice Corrigan voted to affirm but the majority returned a split decision, but she more heavily questions the appellant in thoese cases – 24 to 7.33 for respondents.

The data for Justice Corrigan’s work since the Supreme Court started posting oral arguments in 2016 is clear: when Justice Corrigan votes with the majority, she averages more questions to the party who will lose.  When she disagrees with the majority, she more heavily questions the party she believes should lose the case, rather than the party who the majority believes should lose.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Ken Lund (no changes).

What Are Justice Corrigan’s Question Patterns When She Disagrees With the Majority in Civil Cases?

For the last two weeks, we’ve been looking at the Supreme Court’s question patterns at a court-wide level.  We reviewed the academic literature studying oral argument questions at the U.S. Supreme Court, which has concluded that the party which will lose averages the most questions.  We then reviewed the year-by-year data at the California Supreme Court to look for similar patterns.

Now, we’re beginning to review the data one Justice at a time.  Does each individual Justice match the usual pattern – more questions to the loser – when he or she agrees with the majority?  What about when she or he doesn’t agree with the majority – does she more heavily question the party which will lose the case, or the party she thinks should lose the case?  We divide the case data by every possible combination of court result and a Justice’s vote – affirmances, reversals and split decisions (“affirmed in part, reversed in part”).

We begin, in light of Justice Chin’s recent retirement, with Justice Corrigan’s record in civil cases.  When Justice Corrigan joins the majority in an affirmance, she clearly questions appellants more heavily 4.98 to 0.98 for respondents.  When the majority affirms but Justice Corrigan wants to reverse, she more heavily questions the respondent – 8 questions for respondents and an average of only 1.33 for appellants.  When the court affirms but Justice Corrigan wants a split decision, she averages 9.5 questions to respondents and 5 to appellants.

When Justice Corrigan joins the majority in a reversal, she more heavily questions the losing respondent, although the gap between loser and winner is much less than for affirmances: 4.38 questions for respondents, 3.31 to appellants.  When Justice Corrigan wants to affirm but the majority reverses, she concentrates on appellants: 5.67 questions to appellants, 1.33 to respondents.  Although there have been few reversals where Justice Corrigan supported a split decision, she concentrates on respondents: 5.0 to respondents, 0 to appellants.  Finally, where Justice Corrigan joins the majority in a split decision, she concentrates on the appellant: 3 questions to appellants, 1.93 to respondents.

Join us back here tomorrow as we review Justice Corrigan’s data in criminal cases.

Image courtesy of Flickr by FancyLady (no changes).

LexBlog