Diversity, Tenure, and Dissent
Emory University School of Law
March 2, 2010
Legal Workshop; Duke Law Journal, 2010
Emory Law and Economics Research Paper No. 11-111
Although academics have long recognized that institutions such as opinion assignment procedures and voting order might influence the propensity to dissent, empirical studies have failed to recognize the importance of collegiality and personal relationships on dissent rates. Thus, in this short essay, I empirically test whether some of the judges’ assertions are consistent with the empirical data. I test whether various measures of diversity are associated with dissent rates in state supreme courts. I find that diversity in many areas - gender, race, age, religion, home state, and political affiliation - is associated with higher levels of dissent. In contrast, diversity in the jobs the judges had before taking the bench is associated with lower dissent rates.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 10
Keywords: judicial decision-making, dissent, diversity
JEL Classification: K00, K40
Date posted: August 19, 2011 ; Last revised: May 29, 2012
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