The Role of Personal Attributes and Social Backgrounds on Judging

31 Pages Posted: 21 Sep 2016

See all articles by Tracey E. George

Tracey E. George

Vanderbilt University - Law School

Taylor Weaver

Vanderbilt University - Law School

Date Written: September 20, 2016

Abstract

Social background theory formalizes and tests the intuition that jurists’ attributes and experiences will affect their rulings. This chapter explores the source and development of social background theory. The theory can be seen as evolving through four stages: legal realism, behavioralism, new institutionalism, and computation. After briefly assessing the contributions and limitations of the theory, the chapter ends with a proposal for a relevancy threshold for social background research.

Keywords: judicial decisionmaking, social background theory, empirical legal studies, judges, courts, judicial attributes, relevancy theory, institutional economics, behavioral jurisprudence, legal realism, new institutionalism

Suggested Citation

George, Tracey E. and Weaver, Taylor, The Role of Personal Attributes and Social Backgrounds on Judging (September 20, 2016). Vanderbilt Law Research Paper No. 17-03, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2841244 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2841244

Tracey E. George (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Law School ( email )

131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-1181
United States

Taylor Weaver

Vanderbilt University - Law School

131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-1181
United States

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