Judiciary


Where Is the Data on Judicial Representation?

Posted on Blog by on August 03, 2018

In 2016, Tracey E. George and Albert H. Yoon, in conjunction with the American Constitution Society, published a study titled “The Gavel Gap” that found that 69.8% of state judges were men and 80.4% were white. In order to get this data, George, Yoon, and a team of research assistants spent over a year combing through federal court websites, press releases, newspapers, and other resources to create a database of over 10,000 state judges’ biographies. Despite this extensive effort, the finished database is still incomplete. They were unable to find data on the race of about 5% of judges. This database also excludes the nearly 20,000 judges who sit on local and special jurisdiction courts. Furthermore, the database also only reflects the makeup of the bench in 2014; many judges have inevitably retired or been voted out of office in the past four years.


Introducing the Balanced Bench Project: Examining Representation in the State Judiciary

Posted on Blog by on July 26, 2018

President Donald Trump just nominated Brett Kavanaugh to replace outgoing Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy.  Soon after, CNN ran an article citing a statistic that, if confirmed, Kavanaugh will be the 108th white man to serve on the Supreme Court (he would be only the 114th justice to ever serve). By contrast, the Census Bureau estimates that in 2017, only 30.8% of the U.S. population were white men. Several news outlets shared this statistic to emphasize the vast underrepresentation of people of color and women on the Supreme Court.


Women are Underrepresented on the Courts

Posted on Blog by on June 20, 2018

While there has been much media coverage on gender disparity in the legislative branch, there is little attention being paid to the lack of representation of women and people of color in the judicial branch. Less than one-third of state judges are women, even while women make up more than one-half of the U.S. population. People of color make up about 40% of the population, but account for less than 20 percent of state judges. At the federal level, only 36 percent of United States trial court judges are women and only 10.5 percent of U.S. federal judges are women of color.