Today, we’re concluding our series of posts on agreement rates among the Justices with a look at the numbers for the years 2014 through 2018.
Justice Corrigan’s closest matches were two Justices who cast only a few votes in 2014 prior to retirement: Justices Kennard and Baxter, who were both at 100%. Justice Corrigan was at 85.71% with the Chief Justice, and 83.67% with Justice Chin. Justices Corrigan and Kruger had an agreement rate of 72.97%. Three agreement rates were in the sixties – Justice Werdegar at 65.71%, the pro tems at 62.5% and Justice Cuellar at 62.16%. Justice Corrigan and Justice Liu had an agreement rate of 62.5%.
Justice Kennard cast only five qualifying votes (criminal cases with at least one dissenter) during her final year of 2014. Five of her colleagues agreed with every one of those votes, and Justice Liu agreed with four of five.
Justice Kruger’s closest match during these years was Justice Corrigan at 72.97% and Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye at 70.27%. Two more Justices were in the sixties – Justice Werdegar at 69.75% and Justice Cuellar at 64.86%. Justices Chin and Liu was both at 56.76%, and Justice Kruger’s agreement rate with the pro tem Justices was 42.86%.
Justice Werdegar’s closest matches (aside from Justices Kennard and Baxter) were Justice Cuellar at 78.26% and Justice Liu at 71.43%. Three Justices were in the sixties – Justice Kruger (69.57%), Justice Corrigan (65.71%) and Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye (68.26%). Justices Werdegar and Chin had an agreement rate of 48.57% and Justice Werdegar and the pro tems were at 40%.
Leaving aside Justice Kennard and Justice Baxter’s short tenures in 2014, the Chief Justice’s closest matches were Justice Corrigan at 85.71% and Justice Chin at 81.63%. Justice Kruger was next at 70.27%, and two Justices were in the sixties – Justice Werdegar (62.86%) and the pro tems (62.5%). Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye’s agreement rate with Justice Cuellar was 54.05%. The Chief Justice agreed with Justice Liu only 36.73% of the time.
Aside from Justices Kennard and Baxter, Justice Chin’s closest matches on the Court were Justice Corrigan (83.67%) and Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye (81.63%). Justice Chin’s agreement rate with the pro tems was 62.5%. His agreement rate with the two newest Justices was in the fifties – Justice Kruger (56.76%) and Justice Cuellar (51.35%). Justices Chin and Werdegar had an agreement rate of 48.57%. Justices Chin and Liu had a rate of 32.65%.
Justice Baxter, in his short 2014 tenure, agreed in all his votes in divided criminal cases with the Chief Justice and Justices Chin, Werdegar, Kennard and Corrigan. His agreement rate with Justice Liu was 66.67%, and with the pro tems, 25%.
Justice Cuellar’s closest match was Justice Werdegar, at 78.26%. Three Justices were in the sixties – the pro tems (64.29%), Justice Kruger (64.86%) and Justice Corrigan (62.16%). Three more were in the fifties – Justice Liu (56.76%), Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye (54.05%) and Justice Chin (51.35%).
Aside from Justices Kennard and Baxter, Justice Liu’s closest match during these years was Justice Werdegar at 71.43%. Justice Liu’s agreement rate with his two fellow Brown appointees, Justices Kruger and Cuellar, was the same – 56.76%. Justice Liu and the pro tems had an agreement rate of 45.83%. Justices Liu and Corrigan were at 40.82%. Justice Liu agreed with the Chief Justice in 36.73% of divided criminal cases, and with Justice Chin even less – 32.65%.
Next, we review the numbers for the pro tems. Four Justices had agreement rates with the pro tems in the sixties – Justices Cuellar (64.29%) and Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye, Justice Chin and Justice Corrigan (all 62.5%). Justice Liu was at 45.83%, Justice Kruger at 42.86%, and Justice Werdegar was at 40%. The pro tems and Justice Baxter had an agreement rate of 25%.
Last time, we proposed a rough measure of how much each Justice was in sync with the rest of the Court during the study period, or alternatively, how much a Justice’s philosophy perhaps diverged from most of his or her colleagues – the arithmetical average of all a single Justice’s agreement rates with his or her colleagues. Justice Kennard’s part 2014 year puts her first at 96.67%. Justice Baxter is second at 84.52%. Next we have Justice Corrigan (74.84%), Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye (72.64%) and Justice Werdegar (70.71%). Justice Chin’s average was 68.57%, Justice Kruger’s was 62.01%, and Justice Cuellar’s was 61.68%. Justice Liu’s average was 54.19%. The pro tems brought up the rear, with an average agreement rate of 50.69%.
Join us back here next Thursday as we embark on a new topic. In the meantime, join us at The Appellate Strategist late today for the beginning of a new biweekly series of posts on a brand-new area of analysis.