I’ve been thinking about yesterday’s post about unanimous 9-0 opinions. I think it would be interesting to see which Justices have been assigned the most 9-0 opinions either with or without concurring opinions. These numbers also include 8-0 and 7-0 decisions.
Bear in mind, as a general rule, each Justice authors 7-8 majority opinions every term, or one for every sitting October-April. With that in mind, its pretty surprising to see a Justice write 5 out of 7 majority opinions for a term in 9-0 decisions. The obvious flip-side to this information would be the number of 5-4 majority opinions authored by each Justice in a given year. These numbers are going to be skewed based on the sheer number of 5-4 opinions that went in the conservative direction.
Justice Stevens authored a lot of 5-4 liberal opinions while Justice Kennedy authored more 5-4 opinions over this period than anyone else. I expected to see that Justices Souter and Ginsburg hadn’t issued many but I was surprised to see that Justice Scalia has only issued two.