Diversifying State Supreme Courts

Law & Society Review, 45(3): 761-81 (2011)

29 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2013  

Greg Goelzhauser

Utah State University - Department of Political Science

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

Why do some states diversify their supreme courts sooner than others? As of 2009, nineteen states had yet to seat their first black supreme court justices. Every state has seated its first female justice, but the diversification process spanned from 1922-2002. Using original data on the first black and female state supreme court justices, I contend that political and institutional pressures influence when states diversify their high courts. The results suggest that selection systems, institutions affecting turnover, and the appointment of political minorities to the United States Supreme Court are associated with states seating their first black and female justices. The findings have implications for our understanding of the political and institutional circumstances that promote judicial diversity.

Keywords: state supreme courts, judicial diversity, judicial elections

JEL Classification: H70

Suggested Citation

Goelzhauser, Greg, Diversifying State Supreme Courts (2011). Law & Society Review, 45(3): 761-81 (2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2207033

Greg Goelzhauser (Contact Author)

Utah State University - Department of Political Science ( email )

0725 University Blvd.
Logan, UT 84322-0725
United States

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