Over at Twitter, Mike Sacks posted an interesting question about the agreement rate between Justices Scalia and Thomas during October Term 2012:

Comparing agreement rates for partial Terms can be tricky because the Court releases a disproportionate number of unanimous and 8-1 opinions early in the Term, and a disproportionate number of 5-4 and 6-3 opinions late in the Term. Therefore, if you want to figure out whether Justices Scalia and Thomas have been disagreeing more than usual, you have to look at how they’ve historically agreed through that point in past Terms.

I have interim numbers for Terms from October Term 2008 to the present. Here are the Scalia-Thomas agreement numbers through April for the past four Terms and October Term 2012:

Full Partial Judgment
Only
OT08 79% 85% 88%
OT09 83% 95% 95%
OT10 64% 81% 86%
OT11 78% 88% 94%
Avg. 76% 87% 91%
OT12 68% 84% 87%

Here are the graphs for each level of agreement:

agreement

So, I think the conclusion is that the Justices Scalia and Thomas are disagreeing at a higher rate than usual, but not by much.


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