Today we’re reviewing Justice Corrigan’s questioning data in criminal cases.
When Justice Corrigan agrees with a criminal affirmance, she more heavily questions the losing appellants – 6.97 to appellants, 2.11 to respondents. When Justice Corrigan wants to reverse but the majority is affirming, she concentrates on the respondents – 18 questions to respondents, 1 to appellants. There have been few questions where the Court affirmed but Justice Corrigan wanted to return a split decision, she more heavily questions the appellants: 12.5 to appellants, 0 to respondents.
When Justice Corrigan joins the majority in a reversal, she more heavily questions the respondents: 6.32 for respondents, 3.98 for appellants. When Justice Corrigan votes to affirm but the majority reverses, she focuses on the appellants: 9 questions for appellants, 2.67 for respondents. When Justice Corrigan votes with the majority in a split decision – affirmed in part, reversed in part – she more heavily questions the appellants, 4.86 to 3.95. There have been few cases where Justice Corrigan voted to affirm but the majority returned a split decision, but she more heavily questions the appellant in thoese cases – 24 to 7.33 for respondents.
The data for Justice Corrigan’s work since the Supreme Court started posting oral arguments in 2016 is clear: when Justice Corrigan votes with the majority, she averages more questions to the party who will lose. When she disagrees with the majority, she more heavily questions the party she believes should lose the case, rather than the party who the majority believes should lose.