Serious number crunching — including our annual look at which CAAF judges were most likely to vote together and which were most likely to disagree — will have to wait until later this week, but here are some preliminary numbers.
CAAF heard 35 oral arguments this term, resulting in 33 opinions of the court. Chief Judge Baker and Judge Ryan each authored eight opinions of the court. Judges Erdmann and Stucky each authored seven. The court issued three per curiam opinions. No senior judge authored an opinion of the court, though Senior Judge Effron authored two separate opinions (a dissent in Behenna and a concurrence in Ali).
One distinguishing feature of the 2011 Term is that CAAF was a four-judge court — and will almost certainly remain a four-judge court long into 2013. In each case in which the court heard oral argument, either Senior Judge Effron or Senior Judge Cox sat with the court. Senior Judge Effron participated in 20 cases while Senior Judge Cox participated in 16. I know some of you are thinking, “Hey, Dwight, that’s 36 cases and CAAF only heard 35 oral arguments.” The extra case was the Assange v. United States writ appeal. See Assange v. United States, 71 M.J. 100 (C.A.A.F. 2012) (summary disposition). Senior Judge Effron participated in the court’s decision in that writ appeal, which was denied without oral argument.
Of the 35 orally argued cases, 14 (40%) were from the Army, 12 (34%) from the Navy-Marine Corps, and 9 (26%) from the Air Force. The court heard no Coast Guard cases. Of the 33 cases decided by an opinion of the court, 13 (39%) were Army cases, 12 (36%) were Navy-Marine Corps cases, and 8 (24%) were Air Force cases.
Overall, the Government had a good year, prevailing in 23 of the 35 (66%) orally argued cases and 22 of the 33 (67%) cases decided by an opinion of the court. But that success was uneven. The Government won in 11 of the 14 (79%) Army cases that were orally argued (and 11 of the 13 (85%) Army cases that generated an opinion of the court) and 9 of the 12 (75%) Navy-Marine Corps orally argued cases. But the Government won only 3 of the 9 (33%) Air Force cases that were orally argued and only 2 of the 8 (25%) Air Force cases that generated an opinion of the court.
Last year, the Government prevailed in 52% of CAAF’s cases decided by an opinion of the court.
This term, CAAF heard oral arguments in 6 cases with certified issues. The defense prevailed in 4 (67%) of those cases. The defense prevailed in 3 of the 5 (60%) cases with certified issues that generated an opinion of the court.
The Court affirmed ACCA in 10 of the 14 (71%) Army cases that were orally argued and 9 of the 13 (69%) Army cases decided by an opinion of the court. It affirmed NMCCA in 9 of the 12 (75%) Navy-Marine Corps cases. It affirmed AFCCA in 4 of the 9 (44%) Air Force cases that were orally argued and 3 of the 8 (37.5%) Air Force cases decided by an opinion of the court.