Which States Have the Best (and Worst) High Courts?
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
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
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.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 51
Keywords: state courts, high courts, court performance
Date posted: March 10, 2009