Over the course of this week I’m going to continue our annual tradition of end-of-term number crunching.
CAAF heard 36 oral arguments this term, which resulted in 34 authored opinions, one per curiam opinion, and one summary disposition. The court also issued four per curiam opinions in cases without hearing oral argument, for a total of 40 cases this term.
Of the 34 authored opinions, the work of writing the authored opinions was as evenly divided as possible for a four-judge court: Judge Ryan and Judge Erdmann each wrote nine opinions, and Chief Judge Baker and Judge Stucky each wrote eight. Neither of the Senior Judges authored an opinion of the court, but Senior Judge Effron wrote a separate concurring opinion in Garner, and Senior Judge Cox wrote dissenting opinions in CCR and in Wilson.
Because of the continuing vacancy, CAAF was a four-judge court for the second year in a row. CAAF called on Senior Judge Effron and Senior Judge Cox to participate in the 36 oral arguments. The court also called on Senior Judge Effron to participate in the writ-appeal in Hasan, which was decided without oral argument. Overall, just like last year, Senior Judge Effron participated in more cases: 22 to Senior Judge Cox’s 15 (last year Senior Judge Effron participated in 20 cases to Senior Judge Cox’s 16).
The breakdown of cases by service can be counted in a number of ways:
Of the 40 total cases identified in the first paragraph, the breakdown is:
Air Force: 9 (22.5%)
Army: 17 (42.5%)
Coast Guard: 2 (5%)
Marine Corps: 7 (17.5%)
Navy: 5 (12.5%)
(Navy and Marine Corps combined: 12 (29.4%))
Of the 36 oral arguments, the breakdown is:
Air Force: 8 (22.2%)
Army: 16 (44.4%)
Coast Guard: 1 (2.8%)
Marine Corps: 6 (16.7%)
Navy: 5 (13.9%)
(Navy and Marine Corps combined: 11 (30%))
Of the 34 authored opinions, the breakdown is:
Air Force: 8 (23.5%)
15 Army: 15 (44.1%)
Coast Guard: 1 (2.9%)
Marine Corps: 6 (17.6%)
Navy: 4 (11.8%)
(Navy and Marine Corps combined: 10 (29.4%))
The Government won more than it lost, but just barely. Excluding the three cases involving petitions for extraordinary relief (but including the summary decision in Holsey), the Government won in 19 cases and lost in 18 cases. I’m including Gaskins (where the Government won on the first and primary issue, but lost on the second issue that addressed a defective 134 specification in a case that was tried well before CAAF decided Fosler) as a loss for the Government, though I really consider it to be more of a tie.
So, of these 37 cases, the Government won in:
5 out of 8 Air Force cases (62.5%).
8 out of 15 Army cases (53%)
1 out of 2 Coast Guard cases (50%).
1 out of 7 Marine Corps cases (14.3%).
4 out of 5 Navy cases (80%).
(5 out of 12 combined Navy and Marine Corps cases (42%)).
Excluding the summary decision in Holsey and the three cases involving petitions for extraordinary relief (Hasan, CCR, and LRM), the Government won 18 out of 36 cases (50%) decided by an opinion of the court. This is relatively low. Last year the Government won 67% of the cases decided by an opinion of the court, though the year before it won just 52%.
Of the cases where CAAF heard oral argument, the Government won 17 out of 34 (50%) (these numbers do not include the oral arguments in CCR or LRM). This is down significantly from last year, when the Government won 66% of of the cases where CAAF heard oral argument.
Chief Judge Baker: 23 out of 37 (62%)
Note: This includes Irizarry as a unanimous win for the Government, even though Chief Judge Baker and Judge Erdmann dissented in part, because they concurred in the result.
Judge Ryan: 23 out of 37 (62%)
Judge Stucky: 21 out of 37 (57%)
Senior Judge Effron: 10 out of 20 (50%)
Judge Erdmann: 18 out of 37 (49%) (see the note about Irizarry above)
Senior Judge Cox: 6 out of 15 (40%)