A few weeks ago, we established that court-wide, the party which is likely to lose tends to get the most questions in oral argument. Now, we’re investigating individual Justices’ records – when the Justice agrees with the majority, does he or she follow the usual pattern, and when he or she doesn’t agree, does the Justice more heavily question that party that will lose, or the party he or she thinks should lose? This week, we’re looking at Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye’s data.
When the Chief Justice joins the majority in a civil affirmance, she more heavily questions the losing party – appellants, 5.04 questions, respondents, 2.69. When she’s in the majority of a reversal, she averages 4.58 questions to respondents, 3.15 to appellants. When the Chief Justice agrees with a split decision, she averages 4.69 questions to appellants, 4.31 to respondents.
When the Chief Justice dissents from a civil affirmance, she averages 1 question to respondents, 0 to appellants. When she dissents from a reversal, she averages 6 questions to appellants, 1 to respondents.
When the Chief Justice votes for a split decision, but the majority affirms, she averages 4 questions to respondents, 3 to appellants. When she votes for a split decision but the majority reverses, she averages 12 questions to appellants, 3 to respondents.
Join us back here tomorrow as we review the Chief Justice’s record in criminal case oral arguments.