In the new conservative courthouse, Kavanaugh sits in the center

Statistical data

This article is the first in a series of articles on provisional statistics during the 2020-21 term of the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court has issued opinions in about half of the cases that will determine the term of office. So far, Justice Brett Kavanov has become the new “intermediate justice” in the stable and conservative courts. If this trend continues, Kavanaugh will replace Chief Justice John Roberts, who occupied the court’s ideological center before the ideological center of court judges was shifted by the right. The latter was caused by Rose Bard last fall. It was caused by the death of Justice Ginsburg and the quick succession of Justice Amy Connie Barrett.

Kavanaugh’s position, as well as some of the other initial trends outlined below, are based on data from 31 countries Advantages So far, the court has issued a judgment within the 2020-21 period. This data set includes all opinions expressed in disputed cases, two unsigned opinions that gave emergency relief on the shadow file, and several “abstract revocations” (unsigned opinions in which the court approved the petition and revoked To the lower court without hearing oral arguments).Data set does not include A case It was dismissed as an “unintentional grant” and many understatement decisions that lacked a formal opinion on the merits.

The court is expected to issue another 33 opinions during the current term, including votes obtained in fiercely controversial cases involving the Affordable Care Act and conflicts between religious freedom and LGBTQ rights. The trend we identified here may change before the end of June. (As usual, we will release a comprehensive “Compendium of Statistics” at the end of the semester, with detailed final statistics.) But the following data provides the initial situation of the new six judicial conservative majority in the first year of court decision-making.

Last semester Universally agree Above The story is that Roberts has a frequency of 97% in most cases. The president is usually represented as the middle judicial officer of the court, and he has considerable influence in closely separated cases, because he is the conservative member who is most willing to vote with liberal judges. However, after Ginsburg’s death and Barrett’s confirmation, the court’s balance changed.

So far, the frequency of most people seems to be the story of this story, but this time, Kavanaugh is at the center of the court. Since last semester, his current match rate with Roberts among the majority of people is 97%, and Roberts’s percentage among the majority has dropped to 87%.This semester, Kavanaugh has achieved important votes in many highly competitive cases-most notably two Ruling The COVID-19 restrictions on religious worship were removed from the shadow file (both of which prompted Roberts to disagree). Kavanaugh also joined other conservatives (including Roberts) and wrote a majority opinion on the case. The constitutionality of sentenced juvenile life without parole, He (together with Roberts) stood on the position of three liberals and decided what constitutes liberalism. “Seizure” in the Fourth Amendment.

In the current presidential election, President Donald Trump’s deep impression in court showed that all three Trump’s appointees-Cavano, Barrett and Justice Neil Gorsucci (Neil Gorsucci) Gorsuch) in most cases more than any other judge. Not surprisingly, in most cases, judges are the only three members of the court appointed by the democratic president: Judge Elena Kagan, Stephen Breyer and Sonia So Sonia Sotomayor. However, during this term, each case accounted for more than two-thirds of court cases, which proves that many decisions are not divided according to ideology.

When checking the consensus between each other, the ideological unity is obvious. The figure above shows the six judges with the highest turnout rate and the six judges with the lowest approval rate. Three of the first six pairs include Barrett – so far, in every case she has participated, she has voted with Judges Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas , And she reached an agreement with Judge Samuel Alito 95% of the time. (However, Barrett’s sample size is smaller than other judges. Of the 31 cases in our data set, she did not participate in 10 cases that were disputed before she joined the bench, and the other two did not make decisions immediately after she was appointed. Participate in litigation under the circumstances.)

Liberal judges also showed a similar agreement: Breyer voted with Sotomayor and Kagan 97% of the time, and Stomayor and Kagan 94% of the time Vote together. On the other hand, the two at least agreed to be composed of judges with the least ideological disagreement.

We have seen two trends through voting to split the decided cases. First, so far, more than half of the decisions have been reached by unanimous votes.Slightly higher than The average over the past ten years is 48% (Although at the end of the period, consensus is usually reduced, because divergent decisions will take longer to be released). When asked about the court’s views on the partisan line, the justices usually emphasize the court’s tendency to unanimously decide the case.

However, non-uniform cases may be closely divided (that is, decided by 6-3 or 5-4 votes) and may lead to conservative results. If the majority consists of judges appointed by the Republican Party, we define the case as a conservative outcome; if the majority consists of all three Democratic-appointed judges and two or three cross-ballots from the Republican Party, then we define the case For free results. Appointee. (So ??far, in this term, there has not been a closely divided case composed of three Democratic-appointed justices-either these three judges have a majority or, more generally, all three judges are in dissent. .)

The classification of close cases with partisan endings has Different According to the Roberts Court, since Kavanaugh replaced Judge Anthony Kennedy, most of the intimate decisions achieved conservative results in 2018, and Anthony Kennedy was recognized as the court’s “swing vote”. This model has continued throughout this semester.From the aforementioned no fake fake and COVID-19 cases to the government’s efforts, many major rulings Exclude people living in the country without permission from the 2020 census or Reduce relief for deportation due to misdemeanorThis is by the conservative majority, and all three liberal judges disagree.

The last measure of the term to be tested at this point is the number of opinions made by each justice. As in the past, Roberts and Kagan wrote the fewest total opinions. Both of them seldom express consensual opinions, and when they disagree, they are more likely to simply add in the dissenting opinions put forward by another judge instead of expressing their own opinions. (So ??far this semester, Roberts has put forward two different opinions, One is the only objection In cases involving student speech, the plaintiff must claim damages to the federal constitutional rights, which is the core of the damages. Since he joined the bench in 2005, this is the first time the Chief has become the only dissident in the 8-1 case. )

On the other hand, Sotomayor and Thomas are the most prolific authors with unanimous court opinions, and are equally inclined to dissent from the authors. As usual, they are at the high end of the opinions written so far. Breyer also wrote a lot of opinions. He is usually a frequent dissident (Ginsburg liberals are more “notorious” for her dissidents, although this is usually due to their language power rather than the sheer number of people), and he has already consulted The opposition of most liberals. In this case, it is 6-3 based on ideology.

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