Constitutional law cases were down sharply as a share of the Supreme Court’s civil docket between 2006 and 2013, with the Court deciding only thirty cases – five in 2006, nine in 2007, two in 2008, two in 2009, four in 2010, five in 2011, one in 2012 and two in 2013.
Although the docket was evenly divided between plaintiffs’ and defendants’ wins from 1998 to 2005, between 2006 and 2013, the Court decided substantially more cases won below by the defendant (fifteen cases) than by the plaintiff (nine cases).
Defendants who won at the Court of Appeal had a very rough time at the Supreme Court during these years, winning four while losing twelve.
Plaintiffs who won at the Court of Appeal split eight decisions at the Supreme Court, winning four and losing four.
Overall, disregarding which side won below, defendants in civil constitutional law cases won seven while losing seventeen between 2006 and 2013.
Next, we review the issues the Court decided. Across the period, the Court handed down nine due process decisions, eight involving government organization, powers and officers, four each on preemption and the First Amendment, and two each on judicial issues and equal protection.
The Justice most frequently voting with defendants in civil constitutional law cases was Justice Chin at thirteen votes. Justices Baxter and Corrigan cast twelve votes each, Justice Kennard cast ten votes, Chief Justice George cast nine votes, Justice Werdegar cast eight, Justice Moreno cast six and Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye cast one.
As for total votes against defendants, Justice Werdegar led with twenty votes. Justice Kennard was next with nineteen votes. Justices Baxter and Moreno cast seventeen votes each. Justice Chin cast sixteen votes. Chief Justice George cast thirteen votes, his successor Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye cast five votes, and Justice Liu cast four.
Join us back here next time as we address the years 2014 to 2019 and total up our results.