pageok
pageok
pageok
State Courts' Reversal Rates in the Supreme Court:

An interesting question came up: There's plenty of data on the U.S. Supreme Court reversal rates for the federal circuit courts (the Ninth Circuit is often listed as one of the most reversed, though other circuits have pretty high reversal rates, too), but is there some such data for cases coming out of state courts as well? Obviously, it would have to span several years to be even marginally meaningful, and even then it's not clear how meaningful the results would be. Still, it would be interesting data to look at; can anyone point me to some such dataset? Thanks!

Brezh (mail):
I'm aware of at least three Iowa decisions that have been given the Supreme heave-ho in the last few years, one of which the Iowa Court essentially ignored on remand. Not bad for a small state.
9.6.2006 10:27am
Gorjus (mail) (www):
Hm. The AOC doesn't look like it has that particular information, and the DOJ's Bureau of Statistics only tracks certain things from the 50 states--like the number of persons convicted, time from arrest to adjudication, demographics, etc.

Somebody find this info!
9.6.2006 11:48am
policourts:
Try the Spaeth dataset on the U.S. Supreme Court and select for states. The easiest way is to sort by states/year and then delete the federal cases.
It is available at the APSA Law and Court's datapage at http://www.as.uky.edu/polisci/ulmerproject/sctdata.htm
Files are in spss, stata, sas, and ascii formats.
Hope this helps from a poli sci prof who does research about courts.
9.6.2006 12:09pm
Keith Winstein (mail) (www):
Hello,

I prepared a table of the dispositions by state of signed Supreme Court opinions from 1950 to the present. It's at http://web.mit.edu/keithw/www/statestats.html.

I can generate a different time period if need be.

Regards,
Keith Winstein
9.6.2006 6:34pm
jsmith (mail):
Wow--state courts from only two states have had a majority of their decisions affirmed? What does that mean? State courts are incompetent unversed in Constitutional law? Rampant Supreme Court activism? Something else? Or nothing?
9.7.2006 12:18am
John_R (mail):

Wow--state courts from only two states have had a majority of their decisions affirmed? What does that mean? State courts are incompetent unversed in Constitutional law? Rampant Supreme Court activism? Something else? Or nothing?


SCOTUS is more likely to take cases it thinks something is wrong with than ones that are OK?
9.7.2006 1:09am
Keith Winstein:
I corrected an error in the statistics -- they had erroniously included cases heard from federal district courts. I also added federal appeals courts for comparison.
9.7.2006 1:21am
Christopher Cooke (mail):
Here are two, somewhat contradictory ideass:

1. Beginning with the Burger Court, but more frequently with the Rehnquist Court, the US Supreme Court has often reversed state supreme court rulings that excluded evidence in criminal trials when the rulings were based on the state supreme court's interpretation of US Constitution, rather than their own state's constitutions.

2. maybe some of the reversals are due to many state supreme court justices' status as government officials who are subject to voter recall/rejection, and therefore their presumably greater reluctance to enforce the US Constitution in unpopular situations.
9.7.2006 6:49pm