Which States Have the Best (and Worst) High Courts?

51 Pages Posted: 10 Mar 2009  

Stephen J. Choi

New York University School of Law

G. Mitu Gulati

Duke University School of Law

Eric A. Posner

University of Chicago - Law School

Date Written: May 1, 2008

Abstract

This paper ranks the high courts of the fifty states, based on their performance during the years 1998-2000, along three dimensions: opinion quality (or influence as measured by out-of-state citations), independence (or non-partisanship), and productivity (opinions written). We also discuss ways of aggregating these measures. California and Delaware had the most influential courts; Georgia and Mississippi had the most productive courts; and Rhode Island and New York had the most independent courts. If equal weight is given to each measure, then the top five states were: California, Arkansas, North Dakota, Montana, and Ohio. We compare our approach and results with those of other scholars and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, whose influential rankings are based on surveys of lawyers at big corporations.

Keywords: state courts, high courts, court performance

Suggested Citation

Choi, Stephen J. and Gulati, G. Mitu and Posner, Eric A., Which States Have the Best (and Worst) High Courts? (May 1, 2008). U of Chicago Law & Economics, Olin Working Paper No. 405; U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 217; Duke Law School Public Law & Legal Theory Paper No. 236. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1130358 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1130358

Stephen J. Choi

New York University School of Law ( email )

40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States

Gaurang Mitu Gulati

Duke University School of Law ( email )

210 Science Drive
Box 90362
Durham, NC 27708
United States

Eric A. Posner (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Law School ( email )

1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-0425 (Phone)
773-702-0730 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.uchicago.edu/faculty/posner-e/

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