Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

The Costs of Judging Judges by the Numbers

13 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2011 Last revised: 26 Dec 2014

Marin K. Levy

Duke University School of Law

Kate Stith

Yale University - Law School

José Cabranes

US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Date Written: July 6, 2010

Abstract

This essay discredits current empirical models that are designed to “judge” or rank appellate judges, and then assesses the harms of propagating such models. First, the essay builds on the discussion of empirical models by arguing that (1) the judicial virtues that the legal empiricists set out to measure have little bearing on what actually makes for a good judge; and (2) even if they did, the empiricists’ chosen variables have not measured those virtues accurately. The essay then concludes that by generating unreliable claims about the relative quality of judges, these studies mislead both decision-makers and the public, degrade discussions of judging, and could, if taken seriously, detrimentally alter the behavior of judges themselves.

Keywords: appellate judges

Suggested Citation

Levy, Marin K. and Stith, Kate and Cabranes, José, The Costs of Judging Judges by the Numbers (July 6, 2010). Yale Law & Policy Review, Vol. 28, No. 2, 2010; Yale Law & Economics Research Paper No. 439; Yale Law School, Public Law Working Paper No. 237. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1885730

Marin Levy (Contact Author)

Duke University School of Law ( email )

210 Science Drive
Box 90362
Durham, NC 27708
United States

Kate Stith

Yale University - Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States
203-432-4835 (Phone)

José Cabranes

US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Charlottesville, VA 22902
United States

Paper statistics

Downloads
228
Rank
114,271
Abstract Views
1,959