Texas Supreme Court Voting Patterns (April 2014)

D23c3da1a1fb125d24cae30fde636e45?s=47 Don Cruse
April 02, 2014

Texas Supreme Court Voting Patterns (April 2014)

A presentation about voting patterns among the Justices of the Texas Supreme Court. This includes basic voting statistics, as well as a look at how some of those patterns have moved over time. The presentation ends with some of my research into amicus filings in the Texas Supreme Court.

D23c3da1a1fb125d24cae30fde636e45?s=128

Don Cruse

April 02, 2014
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  1. 1.

    April 2, 2014 Recent Changes at the 
 Texas Supreme

    Court (512) 853-9100 don.cruse@texasappellate.com Don Cruse
  2. 4.

    1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

    1 1 1 1 2 2 3 3 20 35 U.S. Supreme Court Over the same time period,
 almost 70% of 5-4 decisions! are one of two patterns
  3. 7.

    1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

    1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 4 Texas Supreme Court Much more variety! in voting patterns! in these 5-4 decisions ... compared to the
 U.S. Supreme Court
  4. 14.

    There Have Been Fewer Close Cases 2005-2009 Terms 2010-2014 Terms*

    * So far! (No spoilers.) • 39 cases with only 5 votes
 for the majority opinion • 34 cases with 6 votes
 for the majority opinion • 15 cases with only 5 votes
 for the majority opinion • 31 cases with 6 votes
 for the majority opinion • 3 more cases decided
 by a plurality opinion • 2½ cases decided
 by a plurality opinion
  5. 16.

    Who was in the 5-vote majorities? In 5-vote cases only,

    2010-2014 Terms Jefferson Hecht Wainwright Medina Green Johnson Willett Guzman Lehrmann Boyd Devine 0 2 4 6 8 10 Early Departures Late Arrivals
  6. 18.

    Who was in the 5-vote majorities? In 5-vote cases only,

    2010-2014 Terms 2 times 2 times In 5-vote cases only, 2010-2014 Terms
  7. 19.

    Who was in the 5-vote majorities? 1 1 1 1

    1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 3 3 20 35 U.S. Supreme Court
  8. 20.

    Who was in the 5-vote majorities? In 5-vote cases only,

    2010-2014 Terms 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 In contrast to the US Supreme Court, almost no patterns even repeated themselves among the five-vote majorities on the Texas Supreme Court.
  9. 21.

    Vote Patterns Opinions Issued in 2012-2013 How often did each

    pair of Justices agree about the judgment, in those cases that drew at least one dissent?
  10. 22.

    25%: Johnson - Lehrmann 26.7%: Boyd - Jefferson 80%: Boyd

    - Willett 75%: Green - Jefferson Vote Patterns Opinions Issued in 2012-2013 In cases with a divided judgment, these pairs of Justices agreed on the result the least often: And these pairs agreed on the result the most often:
  11. 23.

    Who Joins Separate Opinions? In cases with at least one

    separate opinion, 2012-2013 Jefferson Hecht Green Johnson Willett Guzman Lehrmann Boyd Devine -10 -6 -2 2 6 10 14 18 22 Concurrence Majority Concur/Dissent Dissent Chief Justice Jefferson, Justice Green, and Justice Johnson did not join any separate concurring opinions. Every Justice joined at least two dissents. Justice Lehrmann joined dissenting opinions most often, followed by Chief Justice Jefferson and Justice Willett.
  12. 24.

    Who Joins Separate Opinions? In cases with at least one

    separate opinion, 2010 Term to present Jefferson Hecht Wainwright Medina Green Johnson Willett Guzman Lehrmann Boyd Devine Brown -35 -25 -15 -5 5 15 25 35 45 55 65 75 85 Concurrence Majority Concur/Dissent Dissent
  13. 26.

    Jefferson Hecht Green Johnson Willett Guzman Lehrmann Boyd Devine 15%

    24% 42% 13% 25% 13% 9% 23% 25% 85% 76% 58% 87% 75% 88% 91% 77% 75% With Judgment Against Judgment Who Votes With the Judgment? Just in divided cases, 2012-2013
  14. 27.

    75.0% 77.3% 91.3% 87.5% 75.0% 87.0% 58.3% 76.2% 85.0% Who

    Votes With the Judgment? 88.9% 90.7% 96.4% 94.4% 89.3% 94.5% 81.8% 89.8% 93.8% Divided Cases Only 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 75% 85% 87% 76% 58% 75% 88% 91% 77% Hecht Green Johnson Willett Lehrmann Boyd Guzman Devine Jefferson
  15. 28.

    75.0% 77.3% 91.3% 87.5% 75.0% 87.0% 58.3% 76.2% 85.0% Who

    Votes With the Judgment? 88.9% 90.7% 96.4% 94.4% 89.3% 94.5% 81.8% 89.8% 93.8% Divided Cases Only 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 75% 77% 81% 72% 63% 73% 78% 87% 85% 89% 93% 93% 74% 72% 58% 59% 76% 75% 75% 52% 79% 88% 88% 85% 68% 65% 91% 74% 90% 89% 77% 77% 79% 89% Hecht Green Johnson Willett Lehrmann Wainwright Guzman Medina Jefferson
  16. 29.

    75.0% 77.3% 91.3% 87.5% 75.0% 87.0% 58.3% 76.2% 85.0% Who

    Votes With the Judgment? 88.9% 90.7% 96.4% 94.4% 89.3% 94.5% 81.8% 89.8% 93.8% Divided Cases Only 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 81% 73% 82% 79% 58% 78% 59% 67% 69% 76% 71% 83% 55% 82% 59% 80% 86% 81% 79% 64% 83% 79% 77% 94% 83% 77% 79% 64% 79% 79% 92% 88% 80% 72% 71% 84% Hecht Green Johnson Willett Wainwright Medina Jefferson O'Neill Brister
  17. 30.

    75.0% 77.3% 91.3% 87.5% 75.0% 87.0% 58.3% 76.2% 85.0% Who

    Votes With the Judgment? 88.9% 90.7% 96.4% 94.4% 89.3% 94.5% 81.8% 89.8% 93.8% Divided Cases Only 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 81% 73% 82% 79% 77% 58% 78% 59% 67% 63% 73% 78% 55% 82% 59% 80% 93% 74% 72% 86% 81% 79% 64% 75% 77% 81% 72% 69% 76% 71% 83% 85% 87% 85% 88% 93% 76% 58% 59% 76% 75% 75% 52% 79% 88% 83% 79% 77% 94% 88% 85% 68% 65% 83% 77% 79% 64% 91% 74% 90% 89% 79% 79% 92% 88% 77% 77% 79% 89% 80% 72% 71% 84% Hecht Green Johnson Willett Lehrmann Boyd Guzman Devine Jefferson Wainwright Medina O'Neill Brister
  18. 31.

    75.0% 77.3% 91.3% 87.5% 75.0% 87.0% 58.3% 76.2% 85.0% The

    Pattern for New Justices 88.9% 90.7% 96.4% 94.4% 89.3% 94.5% 81.8% 89.8% 93.8% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 85% 87% 85% 88% 93% 76% 58% 59% 76% 75% 75% 52% 79% 88% 83% 79% 77% 94% Willett Lehrmann Boyd Guzman Devine
  19. 33.
  20. 35.

    Current Justices* *There is not yet enough data to plot

    Justice Brown. 2010-present (limited to current Justices)
  21. 37.

    Data from
 May 2012 At the federal level, there are

    many amicus filings at the cert stage. No one files amicus briefs after merits briefing.
  22. 38.

    In Texas, amici can appear anytime, and do. Many wait

    until grant or even after a decision is issued. Data from
 May 2012
  23. 39.

    Slides from a 
 May 2012 panel Having a swarm

    of amicus filings appear on rehearing is now a “thing.”
  24. 40.

    Cases Attracting the Most Amicus Briefs Zachry Construction HMC Hotel

    v Keystone Bostic v Georgia-Pacific Kia Motors v Ruiz Boerjan v Rodriguez Hooks v Samson EPS v FPL Farming Richie v Rupe 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 1 3 1 3 2 2 1 7 7 2 3 5 2 2 2 3 3 1 4 2 10 PFR BOM Grant Submitted Rehearing
  25. 41.

    How does the presence of amicus filers affect the odds

    of getting a response request for a petition? Baseline for
 all petitions With an amicus! brief on file ~40% (~2% of petitions! had such a filing) 85%
  26. 42.

    How does the presence of amicus filers affect the odds

    of getting a request for full merits briefing? Baseline for
 all petitions With an amicus! brief on file ~25% (~7% of petitions! had such a filing) 82%
  27. 43.

    How does the presence of amicus filers affect the odds

    of getting a grant or summary disposition after briefing? Baseline for
 all petitions With an amicus! brief on file ~40% 55% (~18% of briefed cases
 had such a filing)
  28. 44.

    How does the presence of amicus filers affect the odds

    of getting a grant or summary disposition after briefing? Baseline for
 all petitions With an amicus! brief on file ~40% 55% ~15% ~25% Grants Per Curiams ~8% ~48% Combined