The Business of State Supreme Courts, Revisited
Herbert M. Kritzer
University of Minnesota Law School
Rice University - Department of Political Science
Melinda Gann Hall
Michigan State University - Department of Political Science
Brent D. Boyea
University of Texas at Arlingtion
December 20, 2006
Univ. of Wisconsin Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1033
In this research note we employ data from the State Supreme Court Data Project to update Kagan et al.'s study of the docket composition of state supreme courts. Our analysis shows that many of the patterns of change described by Kagan et al. continued through the 20th century: debt and real property continued to decline and criminal continued to increase. However, other patterns of change either reversed or halted. Specifically, neither torts nor family cases have continued to increase; torts have stabilized and family cases, rather than increasing, have declined. The most surprising shift is the sharp increase in other contract, which had no particular pattern in the earlier data, but which represented five percent or less of the courts' business; in the 1990s, other contracts had grown to a level approaching that of public law, and exceeding real property and family and estate cases.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 19
Keywords: state supreme court, litigation
Date posted: December 21, 2006
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