For the past two weeks, we’ve been reviewing the Justices’ agreement rates in civil cases since 1990, six years at a time. Today, we’ve reached the final post in that five-post series, as we take a look at the Court’s past five years. One caution – Justice Kennard is the highest agreement rate with most of the other Justices because she voted in relatively few divided civil cases before her 2014 retirement.
Among the Justices who served most or all of this period, Justice Corrigan’s highest agreement rate was with Justice Baxter – 85.71%. She voted with the Chief Justice in 79.41% of non-unanimous civil cases. She voted with Justice Kruger in 67.86%, with Justice Chin 67.65%, and with Justice Werdegar in 65.63% of divided civil cases. Justice Corrigan voted with Justices Cuellar and Liu in 57.14% of cases. Lastly, Justice Corrigan agreed with pro tem Justices in only one third of divided civil decisions.
As shown below, in her final cases in 2014, Justice Kennard agreed 100% with the Chief Justice and Justices Corrigan, Werdegar, Baxter and Liu. Justices Kennard and Chin had an agreed rate of two thirds.
Justice Kruger’s highest agreement rate was with Justice Liu: 71.43%. Justice Kruger’s rate was in the sixties with three of her colleagues: Justice Corrigan (67.86%), the Chief Justice (62.96%) and Justice Werdegar (60%). Interestingly Justice Kruger has voted with Justice Cuellar, another appointee of former Governor Brown, in only 53.57% of divided civil cases. She has voted with Justice Chin in 44.44% of such cases, and with the pro tem Justices only 40% of the time.
Prior to her retirement, Justice Werdegar voted with Justice Cuellar in 80% of divided civil cases. She voted with the Chief Justice 77.42% of the time. She voted with Justice Liu in 68.75% of cases and with Justice Kruger in 60%. Justice Werdegar agreed with Justice Baxter in 57.14%, with Justice Chin in 54.84%, and with the pro tem Justices 50% of the time.
Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye had an agreement rate of 85.71% with Justice Baxter. Three Republican appointees and one Democratic one were next – Justice Corrigan (79.41%), Justice Cuellar (77.78%), Justice Werdegar (77.42%), and Justice Chin (70%). The Chief Justice agreed with Justice Liu two-thirds of the time, and with Justice Kruger in 62.96% of divided civil cases. Her agreement rate with the pro tem Justices in divided civil cases was zero.
Justice Chin’s highest agreement rates were two colleagues in the seventies – Justice Baxter at 71.43% and Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye at 70.59%. Two more Justices were in the sixties – Justice Corrigan at 67.65% and Justice Kennard, 66.67%. Two more were in the fifties and in the forties – Justices Cuellar (59.26%), Werdegar (54.84%), Liu (47.06%) and Kruger (44.44%). Justice Chin agreed with pro tem Justices in only 28.57% of divided civil cases.
Justice Baxter’s highest agreement rates before his retirement were with Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye and Justice Corrigan – both 85.71%. His rate with Justice Chin was 71.43%. Justice Baxter had identical agreement rates of 57.14% with Justices Werdegar and Liu. He agreed with none of the pro tem Justices in divided civil cases prior to his retirement.
Justice Cuellar’s data for civil cases is interesting – disregarding for the moment the pro tem Justices, four of the five highest agreement rates with Justice Cuellar were with Republican appointees – Justice Werdegar 80%, the Chief Justice 77.78%, Justice Chin 59.26%, and Justice Corrigan 57.14%. The exceptions were the pro tems at 80% and Justice Liu at 67.86%. Justice Cuellar’s lowest agreement rate during these years was Justice Kruger – 53.57%.
In contrast, two of Justice Liu’s three highest agreement rates were with his fellow Democratic appointees – Justices Kruger (71.43%) and Cuellar (67.86%). Justice Werdegar fell between the two Democratic appointees at 68.75%. Justice Liu agreed with the Chief Justice in two thirds of divided civil decisions between 2014 and 2018. His agreement rate with Justices Baxter and Corrigan was identical – 57.14%. His agreement rate with Justice Chin was 47.06%. Finally, Justice Liu agreed with the pro tem Justices in 77.78% of divided civil cases.
With the exception of Justices Cuellar (80%) and Liu (77.78), the pro tems had quite low agreement rates across the board. The pro tems and Justice Werdegar had an agreement rate of 50%. Their agreement rate with Justice Kruger was 40%, and with Justice Corrigan, 33.33%. The pro tems and Justice Chin agreed in only 28.57% of divided civil cases, while their agreement rate with two permanent Justices was zero – Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye and Justice Baxter.
Join us back here tomorrow and we’ll begin our journey anew – this time looking at the criminal docket for the years 1990 and 1995.