A Typology of Judging Styles

64 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2011 Last revised: 4 Dec 2013

Date Written: November 18, 2013


This Article calls into question the fundamental premises of models of judicial decisionmaking utilized by legal and political science scholars. In the place of the predominant theories, I offer a new approach to understanding judicial behavior which recognizes judicial heterogeneity, multidimensional behavior, and interconnectedness among judges at different levels within the judiciary. The study utilizes a unique dataset of over 30,000 judicial votes from eleven courts of appeals in 2008, yielding statistically independent measures for judicial activism, ideology, independence, and partisanship. Based upon those four metrics, statistical cluster analysis is used to identify nine statistically distinct judging styles: Trailblazing, Consensus Building, Stalwart, Regulating, Steadfast, Collegial, Incrementalist, Minimalist, and Error Correcting. These judicial style types offer a fuller account of judicial behavior than any of the prior models utilized by scholars.

Keywords: Empirical, Law and Courts, Judges, Decisionmaking, Models, Courts of Appeals, Federal Courts

Suggested Citation

Yung, Corey Rayburn, A Typology of Judging Styles (November 18, 2013). 107 Northwestern University Law Review 1757 (2013), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1758710 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1758710

Corey Rayburn Yung (Contact Author)

University of Kansas School of Law ( email )

Green Hall
1535 W. 15th Street
Lawrence, KS 66045-7577
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics