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Diversity, Tenure, and Dissent

Joanna Shepherd

Emory University School of Law

March 2, 2010

Legal Workshop; Duke Law Journal, 2010
Emory Law and Economics Research Paper No. 11-111

Although academics have long recognized that institutions such as opinion assignment procedures and voting order might influence the propensity to dissent, empirical studies have failed to recognize the importance of collegiality and personal relationships on dissent rates. Thus, in this short essay, I empirically test whether some of the judges’ assertions are consistent with the empirical data. I test whether various measures of diversity are associated with dissent rates in state supreme courts. I find that diversity in many areas - gender, race, age, religion, home state, and political affiliation - is associated with higher levels of dissent. In contrast, diversity in the jobs the judges had before taking the bench is associated with lower dissent rates.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 10

Keywords: judicial decision-making, dissent, diversity

JEL Classification: K00, K40

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Date posted: August 19, 2011 ; Last revised: May 29, 2012

Suggested Citation

Shepherd, Joanna, Diversity, Tenure, and Dissent (March 2, 2010). Legal Workshop; Duke Law Journal, 2010; Emory Law and Economics Research Paper No. 11-111. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1912057

Contact Information

Joanna Shepherd (Contact Author)
Emory University School of Law ( email )
1301 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States
404-727-8957 (Phone)

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