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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1483330
 
 

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Gender and U. S. Supreme Court Oral Argument on the Roberts Court: An Empirical Examination


James Cleith Phillips


University of California, Berkeley - School of Law Dept. of Jurisprudence & Social Policy; Brigham Young University, Dept. of Political Science

Edward Carter


Brigham Young University

June 13, 2011

Rutgers Law Journal, Vol. 40, 2009

Abstract:     
The nomination and confirmation of Justice Sonia Sotomayor to the U. S. Supreme Court rekindled the debate surrounding gender and judicial behavior and decision making. While numerous studies have looked at the potential influence of a judge’s gender on voting patterns, there has been no scholarship to date investigating how the interaction of a Justice’s gender and an attorney’s gender, after controlling for other factors, influences judicial behavior during oral argument. This study empirically explores gender and oral argument by content analyzing over 13,000 sentences from 57 oral arguments during 2004-2009, measuring Justices’ levels of information-seeking and word counts. Statistical analysis of the individual Justices showed that having the same gender as the arguing attorney did influence judicial behavior for some of the Court. Furthermore, ideology also interacted with gender matching in a fairly consistent partisan divide.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 43

Keywords: oral argument, gender, Supreme Court

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Date posted: December 29, 2009 ; Last revised: June 22, 2011

Suggested Citation

Phillips, James Cleith and Carter, Edward, Gender and U. S. Supreme Court Oral Argument on the Roberts Court: An Empirical Examination (June 13, 2011). Rutgers Law Journal, Vol. 40, 2009. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1483330

Contact Information

James Cleith Phillips (Contact Author)
University of California, Berkeley - School of Law Dept. of Jurisprudence & Social Policy ( email )
2240 Piedmont Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States
Brigham Young University, Dept. of Political Science ( email )
Provo, UT 84602
United States
Edward Carter
Brigham Young University ( email )
Provo, UT 84602
United States
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