What Matters: Agreement between U.S. Courts of Appeals Judges

• NIPS (Machine Learning and the Law) Forthcoming

• Journal of Machine Learning Research, Forthcoming

10 Pages Posted: 15 May 2017 Last revised: 25 Dec 2018

See all articles by Daniel L. Chen

Daniel L. Chen

Directeur de Recherche, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Toulouse School of Economics, Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse, University of Toulouse Capitole, Toulouse, France

Xing Cui

New York University (NYU) - Center for Data Science

Lanyu Shang

New York University (NYU) - Center for Data Science

Junchao Zheng

New York University (NYU) - Center for Data Science

Date Written: 2016

Abstract

Federal courts are a mainstay of the justice system in the United States. In this study, we analyze 387,898 cases from U.S. Courts of Appeals, where judges are randomly assigned to panels of three. We predict which judge dissents against co-panelists and analyze the dominant features that predict such dissent with a particular attention to the biographical features that judges share. Random forest, a method developed in Breiman (2001), achieves the best classification. Dissent is roughly half-driven by case features and half-driven by personal features.

JEL Classification: D03, G02, D8

Suggested Citation

Chen, Daniel L. and Cui, Xing and Shang, Lanyu and Zheng, Junchao, What Matters: Agreement between U.S. Courts of Appeals Judges (2016). • Journal of Machine Learning Research, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2928118 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2928118

Daniel L. Chen (Contact Author)

Directeur de Recherche, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Toulouse School of Economics, Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse, University of Toulouse Capitole, Toulouse, France ( email )

21 allée de Brienne
31015 Toulouse cedex 6 France
Toulouse, 31015
France

Xing Cui

New York University (NYU) - Center for Data Science ( email )

726 Broadway
7th Floor
New York, NY 10003
United States

Lanyu Shang

New York University (NYU) - Center for Data Science ( email )

726 Broadway
7th Floor
New York, NY 10003
United States

Junchao Zheng

New York University (NYU) - Center for Data Science ( email )

726 Broadway
7th Floor
New York, NY 10003
United States

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