The Composition of State Supreme Courts, 2000
Judicature, Vol. 85, pp. 26-31, July/August 2001
15 Pages Posted: 11 Sep 2007
In an important study of diversity on the state high court bench, Henry R. Glick and Craig F. Emmert (1986) examined the composition of state supreme courts in 1980-1981. In this paper, I revisit their conclusions using data from 1994 and 2000. Specifically, I look at how the composition of state supreme courts has changed in the decade and a half or so since Glick and Emmert examined this crucial aspect of judicial selection. Overall, I find that women and racial minorities are still underrepresented on the state high court bench relative to their number in the general population, but much less so than they have been in the past. Also, justices have both more prosecutorial experience and more judicial experience than ever before. In sum, justices sitting in the year 2000 are more diverse, more likely to have attended a prestigious law school, less local, less Democratic, and more experienced than their earlier cohort.
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