Wisconsin Supreme Court Statistics, 1947-48

These tables are derived from information contained in 207 Wisconsin Supreme Court decisions that were turned up in a Nexis Uni search for decisions filed between September 1, 1947, and August 31, 1948.  The total of 207 decisions does not include various orders pertaining to petitions, motions, applications, and disciplinary matters involving lawyers and judges. 

Also excluded are Federal Refrigerator Mfg. Co. v. Crowley and Klofanda’s Will (because the justices split 3-3 in these cases) and Dyer v. City Council of Beloit (a brief per curiam order responding to a ruling by the United States Supreme Court). 

Rulings were issued at the beginning of the term (September 9, 1947) in three cases—Estate of Ehlke, Roszina v. Nemeth, and T. J. Moss Tie Co. v. Industrial Commission.  All pertained to motions for rehearing; none included oral argument, and in each instance the court’s brief ruling indicated that the justices had decided to modify their previous mandate.  These three cases are not included in the tables that follow.

When two cases were, in effect, consolidated—one was simply said to be ruled by the decision in the other—the cases are counted as only one.  (1) Fidelity Sav. Bank v. Aulik (252 Wis. 602 and 252 Wis. 606); (2) Wisconsin Employment Relations Board v. J. P. Cullen & Son (253 Wis. 105 and 253 Wis. 109); (3) Blooming Grove v. Madison and Mullen v. Madison; (4) South Side R. & M. Co. v. Industrial Commission and La Variere v. Industrial Com.; (5) Woods on behalf of United States v. Winter and State ex rel. Winter v. Fischer; and (6) Hoehne v. Mittelstadt and Konecny v. Olrich.

Some of the following tables include nine justices because the court experienced substantial turnover during the 1947-48 term.  More specifically, Justice Ward Rector (defeated in an election) left the court at the end of December, 1947, and was replaced the following month by Justice Henry Hughes.  Justice Chester Fowler died in April, 1948, and was succeeded by Justice John Martin, who joined the court in June.  That same month, Justice Elmer Barlow died and was not replaced (by Justice Grover Broadfoot) until the following term.  As the result of this turnover, the number of justices serving at one point or another varied from five to seven.

The tables are available as a complete set and by individual topic in the subsets listed below.

Four-to-Three Decisions
Decisions Arranged by Vote Split
Frequency of Justices in the Majority
Distribution of Opinion Authorship
Frequency of Agreement Between Pairs of Justices

About Alan Ball

Alan Ball is a Professor of History at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI.


SCOWstats offers numerical analysis of the voting by Wisconsin Supreme Court justices on diverse issues over the past 91 years.

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