Archives: Unanimity and Closely Divided Decisions

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How Has the Court’s Unanimity Rate in Criminal Cases Changed Over Time?

Yesterday, we took a look at the Court’s unanimity rate in civil cases (60.18% in 1,223 cases).  Today, we’re looking at the criminal docket.  From 1990 to 2017, the Court decided 1,590 criminal, quasi-criminal, juvenile and disciplinary cases, with a unanimity rate ten points higher than on the civil side – 70.25%. Just as was … Continue Reading

How Has the Court’s Unanimity Rate in Civil Cases Changed Over Time?

This week, we’re turning our attention to a new issue, tracing how the Court’s unanimity rate has changed over time.  Between 1990 and 2017, the Court decided 1,223 civil cases, 60.18% of those by a unanimous vote. From 1990 to 1996, the Court’s unanimity rate in civil cases was consistently below this long-term average: 41.03% … Continue Reading

How Often is the California Supreme Court Closely Divided in Death Penalty Appeals (Part 2)?

Yesterday, we continued our examination of the Court’s voting patterns, dividing the Court’s unanimity rate among the automatic death penalty appeals and the criminal non-death cases, and asking how often in the death penalty and “everything else” dockets the Court’s decision was lopsided – meaning either unanimous or one dissenter.  Today, we turn our attention … Continue Reading

How Often is the California Supreme Court Closely Divided in Death Penalty Appeals (Part 1)?

For the past few weeks, we’ve been looking further at the Court’s unanimity rate, dividing the Court’s docket into closely divided (2-3 dissenters) and lopsided decisions.  This week, we’ll take a closer look at the Court’s criminal docket, dividing the Court’s decisions into the automatic death penalty appeals and criminal non-death decisions – in other … Continue Reading

How Often is the California Supreme Court Closely Divided in Criminal Cases (Part 2)?

Yesterday, we addressed trends in the California Supreme Court’s special concurrences in civil cases between 2000 and 2015.  Today, we turn to the Court’s special concurrences in criminal cases for the same years. Between 2000 and 2007, the Court’s unanimity rate was typically between sixty and seventy percent.  The unanimity rate was up sharply in … Continue Reading

How Often is the California Supreme Court Closely Divided in Civil Cases (Part 2)?

Last week, we began analyzing how often the California Supreme Court is closely divided in civil and criminal cases with a look at the years 2000 through 2007.  This week, we’ll address the years 2008 through 2015. Between 2000 and 2006, the California Supreme Court typically decided between sixty and seventy percent of its cases … Continue Reading

How Often Is the California Supreme Court Closely Divided in Criminal Decisions (Part I)?

Yesterday, we began our analysis of how often the California Supreme Court is closely divided with a look at the civil docket between 2000 and 2007.  Today, we turn to the criminal docket for the same years. For most of the period, the Court’s unanimity rate in criminal cases was anywhere from fifteen to twenty … Continue Reading

How Often is the California Supreme Court Closely Divided in Civil Decisions (Part I)?

Last week, we asked how often the California Supreme Court reviews unpublished decisions on both the civil and criminal dockets.  Today, we move to two new questions: how often are the Court’s decisions unanimous, and how often is the Court closely divided? In Table 88, we report the share of the Court’s civil decisions which … Continue Reading
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