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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1885730
 
 

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The Costs of Judging Judges by the Numbers


Marin K. Levy


Duke University - School of Law

Kate Stith


Yale University - Law School

José Cabranes


US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

July 6, 2010

Yale Law & Policy Review, Vol. 28, No. 2, 2010
Yale Law & Economics Research Paper No. 439
Yale Law School, Public Law Working Paper No. 237

Abstract:     
This essay discredits current empirical models that are designed to “judge” or rank appellate judges, and then assesses the harms of propagating such models. First, the essay builds on the discussion of empirical models by arguing that (1) the judicial virtues that the legal empiricists set out to measure have little bearing on what actually makes for a good judge; and (2) even if they did, the empiricists’ chosen variables have not measured those virtues accurately. The essay then concludes that by generating unreliable claims about the relative quality of judges, these studies mislead both decision-makers and the public, degrade discussions of judging, and could, if taken seriously, detrimentally alter the behavior of judges themselves.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 13

Keywords: appellate judges

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Date posted: July 15, 2011 ; Last revised: October 3, 2011

Suggested Citation

Levy, Marin K. and Stith, Kate and Cabranes, José, The Costs of Judging Judges by the Numbers (July 6, 2010). Yale Law & Policy Review, Vol. 28, No. 2, 2010; Yale Law & Economics Research Paper No. 439; Yale Law School, Public Law Working Paper No. 237. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1885730

Contact Information

Marin K. Levy (Contact Author)
Duke University - School of Law ( email )
Box 90360
Duke School of Law
Durham, NC 27708
United States
Kate Stith
Yale University - Law School ( email )
P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States
203-432-4835 (Phone)
José Cabranes
US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Charlottesville, VA 22902
United States
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