State supreme courts issued 192 opinions in the two-week period from July 10 to July 23. The Delaware Supreme Court issued 26 opinions more than any other state, followed by Pennsylvania with 17 and Vermont with 13. The last two weeks’ 192 opinions account for 5% of the year-to-date total of 3,842. West Virginia leads with 310 opinions issued since Jan. 1, followed by Pennsylvania with 240 and Delaware with 238.
“State supreme courts have issued an average of 132 opinions per week so far this year. This figure is less than the 2022 weekly average of 143 the 2021 average of 160,” said Ballotpedia.
Supreme courts in 12 states have issued over 100 opinions each since the start of the year, while courts in eight states have issued fewer than 25.
Some of the state supreme court opinions issued this year include those in:
- Illinois, where the “court ‘respectfully suggested’ that the legislature address the policy concerns inherent in the possibility of awards of substantial damages” in a case involving White Castle’s use of employee biometric data;
- Nevada, where the court held “there is no requirement that an employee’s activities be foreseeable to his employer in order for the employee to recover workers’ compensation benefits.” The case involved an employee’s death while riding an ATV on a business trip; and,
- Oregon, where, in a case involving clothing store Eddie Bauer, the court affirmed that a consumer “suffered an ‘ascertainable loss’ when the consumer purchased a product that the consumer would not have purchased, at the price that the consumer paid but for a violation of [ORS] 646.608(1)(e), (i), (j), (ee), or (u), if the violation arose from a representation about the product’s price, comparative price, or price history, but not about the character or quality of the product itself.”
“Supreme courts in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Texas, and Delaware regularly end the year as some of the country’s most active courts. Collectively, they accounted for 26% of all opinions issued in 2021 and 2022, and, to date, 28% in 2023,” said Ballotpedia.
Every state and the District of Columbia have at least one supreme court, known as a court of last resort. Oklahoma and Texas have two courts of last resort, one for civil cases and one for criminal proceedings. Supreme courts do not hear trials of cases. Instead, they hear appeals of decisions made in lower courts. The number of justices on each state supreme court ranges between five and nine.
In 2020, we conducted a study identifying the partisan balance on every state supreme court. You can find that research here. We also identified which justices ruled together most often in our Determiners and Dissenters report found here.
According to the 7WSAW-TV, Voters in Wisconsin petitioned for the recall following turmoil in the county, particularly in the Veterans Service Office. Three employees in that department quit in nine months, blaming county leadership and particularly Lewis for their reasons for leaving. Lewis does not agree with their characterizations of the many scenarios and emphasized following rules. An outside review of several complaints determined county department heads, the county’s administrative coordinator, and board supervisors did not understand their roles and responsibilities.
Lewis has served on the board for about 22 years. He has served on the Personnel and Finance, Zoning, Law Enforcement and Emergency Services, and Veterans Service committees. He previously worked as a master plumber. He has also served as a town chairman in Molitor.
He said he did not plan to campaign for this recall election, saying his record speaks for itself and that he has always worked for the good of the county. When asked about the independent reviewer’s suggestion to change the county’s structure from a committee-based model to an administrator model, he said he likes the committee structure but is open to making changes.
“Somebody says, Well, we’ve done this for 30 years this way or whatever, 50 years. Yeah, OK, but we’ve done it wrong for 50 years, and we know it now, we didn’t before. Once you know that it doesn’t is a good fit, then make your changes. And I’ve always been of that philosophy,” said Lewis.
He explained the change would have to make sense, not just change for change’s sake.
His opponent, Suckow, said it is time for change and that he is in favor of term limits. Suckow’s reason for running is that he did not like what he saw from the county and from Lewis’ leadership. As for his thoughts about a change in structure, he is for changing to an administrator model.
“If you’ve got a board that’s got some common sense, and you hire a good administrator, it’s hard to go wrong. You know, you’re still in charge, you still control things, but you’ve got one person doing all the decisions and making it with the approval of the board, of course.”
Produced in association with Ballotpedia
Edited by Eunice Anyango Oyule and Judy J. Rotich
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