Today, we’re concluding our review of Justice Liu’s patterns in oral argument with a look at the criminal cases he’s participated in.
You’ll recall that Justice Liu did not follow the usual pattern even when in the majority in civil cases – he questioned the respondent more heavily regardless of the eventual result. The data for criminal cases is similar. When in the majority of an affirmance, he has averaged 1.79 questions to respondents and 0.88 to appellants. When he joins the majority reversing, he averages 2.77 questions to respondents and 2.15 to appellants. When he joins the majority in a split decision – affirmed in part, reversed in part – he averages 2.03 questions to respondents and 1.26 to appellants.
The pattern holds when Justice Liu is in the minority of an affirmance. When the majority affirms but he votes to reverse, he averages 1.37 questions to respondents and 0.33 to appellants. When the majority affirms but he votes for a split decision, he averages 5 questions to respondent, 1.65 to appellants.
When the majority reverses but Justice Liu votes to affirm, he averages 2.71 questions to respondent and 2 to appellants. When the majority reverses but Justice Liu votes for a split result (a small data set, even in five years of arguments), he averages 19 questions to appellants and 10 to respondents. Finally, when the majority returns a split decision (an even smaller data set), he averages 20.5 questions to respondents and only 1 to appellants.
Join us back here next Thursday as we continue our review of the individual Justices’ records in oral argument.