This week we’re concluding our review of the individual Justices’ question patterns during oral argument by looking at the record of Justice Groban since he took his seat in 2019. We begin as usual with civil cases.
As can be seen in Table 1470 below, data is scant on the civil side because Justice Groban has been very closely aligned with the Court majority so far. In fact, he has been in the minority in only one civil case which was argued since he took his seat.
What evidence we have so far suggests that Justice Groban may diverge from the expected pattern when he’s voting with the majority in an affirmance, more heavily questioning the respondents. In affirmances, he averages 2.2 questions to respondents and only 1.3 to appellants. When he’s in the majority of a reversal, the pattern is basically the same – 2.29 questions to respondents and 1.58 to appellants. When he joins in a split decision – affirmed in part, reversed in part – he averages 3 questions to respondents and 1 to appellants. In the only civil case where he was in the minority, voting to reverse as the majority affirmed, he asked four questions of the respondents and none to appellants.
Join us back here next time as we review the data for the criminal side of the ledger.