Intersectional Representation on State Supreme Courts

Forthcoming, Judicial Politics Reader

36 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2019 Last revised: 25 Aug 2019

See all articles by Greg Goelzhauser

Greg Goelzhauser

Utah State University - Department of Political Science

Date Written: August 16, 2019

Abstract

Women of color face unique hurdles gaining equal access to the legal profession. This chapter considers the representation of women of color on state supreme courts, emphasizing the importance of judicial selection institutions. It makes two empirical contributions. First, it highlights women of color serving on state supreme courts through 2016 — individuals who have received comparatively little recognition for their achievements. Second, using original data on state supreme court seatings from 1960 through 2016, I examine whether selection institutions are associated with intersectional differences in seating new justices. The results indicate that women of color are more likely to be seated under appointment systems. Compared to other gender-race combinations, the results are similar for men of color, while white men are more likely to be seated through elections. Selection system choice is not associated with differences in seating white women. The results have important implications for our understanding of intersectional political representation and the judicial selection debate.

Keywords: State Courts, Judicial Selection, Diversity

Suggested Citation

Goelzhauser, Greg, Intersectional Representation on State Supreme Courts (August 16, 2019). Forthcoming, Judicial Politics Reader. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3438510

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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