This week, we’ve been taking a look at the voting patterns of pro tem Justices on the California Supreme Court since 2000. Yesterday, we showed that pro tem Justices have tended in civil cases to vote most similarly to what most would call the liberal wing of the Court –Justices Moreno and Liu. Justice Werdegar was third and Chief Justices George and Cantil-Sakauye were fourth and fifth, respectively. The two Justices whose voting records were most dissimilar to pro tems in civil cases were Justices Brown and Mosk. Today, we turn our attention to the Court’s criminal cases over the same period.
Once again, we begin by putting aside the Justices who voted in only a few cases where pro tems were sitting: Justices Kruger, Cuellar and Mosk. We see in Table 166 below that the voting patterns in criminal cases are to some degree exactly the reverse as the patterns in civil cases. Justice Brown, one of the lowest agreement rates in civil cases, was tied with Chief Justice George for the highest agreement rate at 92.86%. Pro tems agreed with Justice Baxter 92.38% of the time in criminal cases, and with Justice Moreno in 90.38%. They agreed with Justice Chin in 87.12% of criminal cases, with Justice Corrigan in 87% and with Justice Werdegar in 85.16%. The three lowest agreement rates for criminal cases were Justice Kennard (84.27%), Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye (83.56%) and Justice Liu, who had one of the two highest agreement rates on the civil side, but agreed with pro tems in only 74.47% of criminal cases.
Join us back here next Thursday as we turn our attention to a new issue in our continuing analysis of the California Supreme Court’s decision making.