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An Analysis of Merit Selection on State Courts

Posted on Blog on January 10, 2018

There are six different ways in which judges get seats on state courts: merit selection, gubernatorial appointment, partisan election, nonpartisan election, legislative appointment, and court appointment.

Women's Underrepresentation in the Judiciary

Posted on Blog on November 21, 2017

Female matriculation in law school has increased significantly over time. In fact since 1992, the ratio between female to male law students has approached 50/50. Despite the relative equality among male and female law students, women’s representation in the judicial branch remains shockingly low. This is true among both female judges and prosecutors. A more diverse judicial branch equates to a more representative government. Representative democracy is important to the judicial branch because different perspectives often lead to diverse readings and implications of rulings. Christina L. Boyd, Lee Epstein and Andrew D. Martin’s study, Untangling the Causal Effects of Sex on Judging, found that male federal appellate court judges are less likely to rule against plaintiffs bringing claims of sex discrimination if a female judge is on the panel. Who we see representing us matters. Female judges and prosecutors are necessary to bring a new perspective to their rulings.