Wisconsin Supreme Court Statistics, 1933-34

These tables are derived from information contained in 363 Wisconsin Supreme Court decisions that were turned up in a Nexis Uni search for decisions filed between September 1, 1933, and August 31, 1934.  The total of 363 decisions does not include various orders pertaining to petitions, motions, and disciplinary matters involving lawyers and judges. 

Cases are omitted if they were decided during the previous term but appeared in the search results because motions for reconsideration were not rejected until 1933-34.  Such cases will be included in the tables for 1932-33.

When two or more 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) Mader v. Boehm (213 Wis. 55) and Mader v. Boehm (213 Wis. 62); (2) Wisconsin Power & Light Co. v. Beloit (215 Wis. 439) and Wisconsin Power & Light Co. v. Beloit (215 Wis. 454); (3) Stott v. Markle (215 Wis. 528), Jason Co. v. Markle (215 Wis. 537), and Slensby v. Markle (215 Wis. 538); (4) Whyte v. Lindblom (216 Wis. 21) and Whyte v. Lindblom (216 Wis. 26); (5) Moen v. Madison Railways Co. (215 Wis. 248) and Moen v. Madison Railways Co. (215 Wis. 253); (6) Banking Commission v. Ray (214 Wis. 433) and A. W. Lund Co. v. Ray (214 Wis. 676); (7) Coyle v. Franklin State Bank (213 Wis. 601) and Hagmann v. Franklin State Bank (213 Wis. 613); (8) Klatt v. Guaranteed Bond Co. (213 Wis. 12) and Cramer v. Guaranteed Bond Co. (213 Wis. 28); (9) Welfare Building & Loan Association v. Breuer (213 Wis. 97), East Side Mut. Bldg. & Loan Ass’n v. Thoreson (213 Wis. 109), Mortgage Discount Co. v. Continental Discount Corp. (213 Wis. 106), West Side Bldg. & Loan Ass’n v. Anderson (213 Wis. 104), West Side Bldg. & Loan Ass’n v. Continental Discount Corp. (213 Wis. 108), West Side Bldg. Loan Ass’n v. Breuer (213 Wis. 107), and East Side Mut. Bldg. & Loan Ass’n v. Lock (213 Wis. 105).
This appears to have been done as well with Madson v. Industrial Commission (253 N.W. 187) and Madson v. Industrial Commission (253 N.W. 186)—judgment affirmed in both, without explanation, in unanimous per curiam decisions.

Justice Walter Owen (served 1918-34) died in Florida on April 15, 1934—that is, a few months before the end of the term.  His replacement was not appointed until the next term.  Thus, the court had only six members during the spring and summer of 1934, though it’s impossible to determine exactly when Justice Owen ceased to participate in decisions.  Between January 9 and February 19, 1934, his name appears on five decisions (joining one dissent and authoring three majority opinions and a dissent), while all of the other justices were much more active in the 79 non-per-curiam decisions filed during this period.  Thereafter, he is not mentioned in any of the remaining 164 decisions filed by the end of the court’s term.  For the following tables, I will assume that Justice Owen did not participate in any decisions filed after February 19, 1934, and that he participated normally (if only by joining majorities) in decisions filed before February 19.  This likely exaggerates his level of involvement, but it’s the best that I can do, given the information at hand.

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.

alan.ball@marquette.edu

SCOWstats offers numerical analysis of the voting by Wisconsin Supreme Court justices on diverse issues over the past 93 years.

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