The Court’s docket of cases involving government entities and government/administrative law was down significantly from sixty-nine between 1990 and 1997 to forty-four from 1998 to 2005. The Court decided four cases in 1998, five in 1999, seven in 2000, five in 2001, three in 2002, six in 2003, ten in 2004 and four in 2005.
Who won at the Court of Appeal among the government/admin cases the Court heard and decided? For the most part, challengers did. Challengers won twenty-six of the cases while defenders of government conduct won only seventeen.
Once those challengers who had won below reached the Supreme Court, they generally lost – for the entire period, challengers who won below won seven at the Supreme Court while losing twenty-two.
There was still some evidence suggesting that the Court was accepting cases in order to reverse – defenders of government action and authority who had won below won six at the Supreme Court while losing ten.
Disregarding who won below, challengers did fairly well at the Supreme Court, winning twenty-four while losing twenty-one.
The Court decided twenty-seven cases involving the power and actions of government officials and entities, ten involving the government’s procedures and only seven involving a private party’s rights against the government.
Justice Kennard led, casting twenty-one votes across the eight years for the positions of challengers to government action. Justice Werdegar had nineteen votes, Chief Justice George had eighteen votes and Justices Chin and Baxter had sixteen and fifteen, respectively. Justice Brown cast twelve votes, Justice Moreno cast nine and Justice Mosk cast eight votes.
Justices Baxter, Brown and Chin led during these years, casting twenty-six votes apiece against challengers to government actions. Chief Justice George had twenty-five votes, Justice Werdegar had twenty-three and Justice Kennard cast twenty-two votes. Justice Moreno cast thirteen votes for defenders of government actions and Justice Mosk cast eight votes.
Join us back here next time as we carry the analysis through to this year.