Diversity in state and federal appellate courts: Change and continuity across 20 years
Abbreviated Journal Title
Justice Syst. J.
JUDICIAL SELECTION; SUPREME COURTS; GENDER; JUDGE; DIVERSIFICATION; RECRUITMENT; NOMINATION; DIFFERENCE; SYSTEMS; WOMEN; Law
We examine the levels of racial, ethnic, and gender diversity and use of selection systems in state and federal appellate courts in the United States for the year 2005 and compare them with our earlier findings for a twenty-year period. We observe no recent increases in the number of state courts employing the merit system of selection, and other systems also remain stable, as continuity currently defines the types of selection systems used in the states. However, we find an increasing number and percentage of state and federal appellate judges who are women and members of racial and ethnic minorities, with change being the order of the day for these nontraditional judges joining the bench. Finally, we show that particular methods of selection are unrelated to rates of judicial diversity. Specifically, we find that the merit system, once derided by some as disfavoring nontraditional judges, continues to have no apparent association with diversity. While there are myriad rationales for state policy makers to choose one particular selection method over any other, our findings affirm, once again, that associated levels of diversity need not be included in that decision.
Justice System Journal
"Diversity in state and federal appellate courts: Change and continuity across 20 years" (2008). Faculty Bibliography 2000s. 472.