Today, we begin the second phase of our review of the Justices’ individual voting records. The percentage of the time a particular Justice votes in the majority and the minority is one measure of to what degree she or he is in philosophical sync with the rest of the Court. When applied to a Chief Justice, it is also arguably a measure of the Chief’s influence on the rest of the Court. Today, we begin our review with Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye.
From joining the Court through the end of 2020, Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye had voted in 312 civil cases. She was in the minority for only 12 of those 312 cases – 3.85% of the total. Interestingly, her percentage in the minority has ticked up a bit in the past two years as the percentage of Democratic nominee Justices has increased. The arrival of Justices Cuellar and Kruger has little effect on the Chief’s minority percentage – she was in the minority in 3.13% of civil cases in 2015, 5.56% in 2016, 2.44% in 2017 and 3.03% in 2018. But then in 2019, the Chief had her most civil minority votes since joining the Court – three votes, or 8.82% for the year. This past year, the Chief Justice was in the minority in 2 of 29 cases – 6.9% of the total. Since the beginning of 2019, the Chief Justice has been in the minority in 7.94% of civil cases.
Join us back here next Thursday as we continue our examination of the Justices’ minority percentages.