Last week, we analyzed how the voting patterns of the Court’s pro tem Justices differed from the permanent members of the Court in civil cases. This week, we’ll be looking at the voting patterns in criminal cases between 2000 and 2015.
Between 2000 and 2007, forty votes were cast by pro tem Justices in criminal cases. There were five pro tem votes in 2001. Seven votes were cast in 2002. Two were cast in 2003. One pro tem vote was cast in 2004. In 2005, there were eight pro tem votes. In 2006 there were fifteen pro tem votes, and in 2007, there were two.
No pro tem Justices either wrote or joined concurrences in criminal cases between 2000 and 2007. In 2005, two Justices joined dissents. The following year, one pro tem Justice joined a dissent.
For most of the period, pro tem Justices were more likely to vote with the majority than permanent Justices were. In 2001, pro tems voted with the majority in all their cases, while 95% of permanent Justices did. In 2002, 85.71% of pro tem Justices voted with the majority to 90.41% for permanent Justices. In 2003 and 2004, pro tems were more likely to be in the majority. Both years, all of the pro tem votes were with the majority. Among permanent Justices, 92.63% voted with the majority in 2003, and 94.64% of permanent Justices voted with the majority in 2004. In 2005, three-quarters of pro tem Justices voted with the majority to 91.18% of permanent Justices. For the final two years of the period, pro tems were once again more likely to be in the majority. In 2006, 93.33% of pro tems were with the majority to 88.41% of permanent Justices. In 2007, all of the pro tem votes were with the majority, while 97.42% of permanent votes were.
Join us back here tomorrow as we turn our attention to the criminal docket between 2008 and 2016.