I thought it would be interesting to place the CAAF judges on a continuum based solely on how often they voted for the Government during the September 2009 term.  Here’s what I found:

1.  Judge Stucky:  31

2.  Judge Baker:  27

     Judge Ryan:  27

4.  Chief Judge Effron:  24

5.  Judge Erdmann:  22

The mean was 26.2.  (Obviously both the median and the mode were 27.)

12 Responses to “The last of the end o’ term stats”

  1. Weirick says:

    Twirling of reading glasses during oral argument must have a high correlation with voting against Big G.

  2. Anonymous says:

    You could have predicted the order without knowing any information, although perhaps not the spread/median.

  3. Anonymous says:

    If I remember correctly, the CAAF issued 43 opinions. So even the judge who voted for the Govt the most still voted for the defense in 25% of the cases and the judge who voted most often with the defense voted for them about 50% of the time. Pretty hard to call any of these judges either pro-Govt or pro-defense with these statistics, especially when you consider that they pretty much get to select the cases they hear.

  4. Anonymous says:

    They “voted” for the law – not the defense or government.

  5. RY says:

    The law is not a party in a case. Further, the cases they hear are generally a question of who’s interpretation is right, Gov’t or Def. Someone is right, and someone is wrong.

  6. RY says:

    So how do you consider a vote in say Nerad or the disposition in Rose where they remand without really deciding the issue granted? I’m guessing you looked at the effect and who was most happy about it, Gov’t or Def?

  7. Anonymous says:

    and wearing cowboy boots under your robe….

  8. Anon says:

    How about a spread on how often they voted for meaningful relief for an Accued or future Accuseds?

  9. THE LAW says:

    THE LAW. Wow. Try making that comment once you have any experience whatsoever working as a lawyer.

  10. Anonymous Air Force Appellate Defense Lawyer says:

    Well the question was how often they “voted for the government.” So a remand without a decision would be — i would guess — an instance where the court did not vote for the government.

  11. Dwight Sullivan says:

    Romeo Yankee, Rose was a summary disposition, so it wasn’t reflected in those numbers. In Nerad, CAAF set aside the Air Force Court’s opinion so I counted all five votes in that case as being in the Government’s favor. Counting all five judges as having voted for the Government in Nerad is consistent with the Supremes’ approach in Denedo, where they ruled that a decision reversing and remanding “conferred a palpable benefit” on the party challenging the lower court’s ruling. United States v. Denedo, 129 S. Ct. 2213, 2220 (2009).

  12. Dwight Sullivan says:

    p.s. — for purposes of computing outcomes of certified issue cases, I did treat Rose as a government win. I think that’s appropriate for the reasons stated above. Additionally, the first certified issue in Rose was whether AFCCA erred by denying the government’s request to obtain an affidavit from AB Rose’s original detailed defense counsel. CAAF rules yes and remanded on that basis, declining to address the second issue. That’s a government win.