Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2020014
 


 



Are Judicial Performance Evaluations Fair to Women and Minorities?: A Cautionary Tale from Clark County, Nevada


Rebecca D Gill


University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Sylvia R. Lazos


University of Nevada, Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law

Mallory Waters


University of Nevada, Las Vegas

September 19, 2011

Law & Society Review, Vol. 45, pp. 731–759

Abstract:     
Because voters rely on judicial performance evaluations when casting their ballots, policymakers should work diligently to compile valid, reliable, and unbiased information about our sitting judges. Although some claim that judicial performance evaluations are fair, the systematic research needed to establish such a proposition has not been done. By the use of attorney judicial performance survey data from Clark County, Nevada, this analysis shows that objective measures of judicial performance cannot explain away differences in scores based on race and sex. Minority judges and female judges score consistently and significantly lower than do their white and male counterparts, all other things being equal. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that judicial performance evaluation surveys may carry with them unexamined and unconscious gender/race biases. Future research must compare judicial performance evaluation structure, content, and execution across states in order to identify those evaluation mechanisms least susceptible to unconscious gender and race bias.

Accepted Paper Series





Not Available For Download

Date posted: March 11, 2012  

Suggested Citation

Gill, Rebecca D and Lazos, Sylvia R. and Waters, Mallory, Are Judicial Performance Evaluations Fair to Women and Minorities?: A Cautionary Tale from Clark County, Nevada (September 19, 2011). Law & Society Review, Vol. 45, pp. 731–759. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2020014

Contact Information

Rebecca D Gill (Contact Author)
University of Nevada, Las Vegas ( email )
4505 S. Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, NV 89154
United States
HOME PAGE: http://faculty.unlv.edu/rwood
Sylvia R. Lazos
University of Nevada, Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law ( email )
4505 South Maryland Parkway
Box 451003
Las Vegas, NV 89154
United States
Mallory Waters
University of Nevada, Las Vegas ( email )
4505 S. Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, NV 89154
United States
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