Does judge gender matter? Decision making in state supreme courts

Citation
Dr. Songer et Ka. Crews-meyer, Does judge gender matter? Decision making in state supreme courts, SOC SCI Q, 81(3), 2000, pp. 750-762
Citations number
22
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Sociology & Antropology
Journal title
SOCIAL SCIENCE QUARTERLY
ISSN journal
0038-4941 → ACNP
Volume
81
Issue
3
Year of publication
2000
Pages
750 - 762
Database
ISI
SICI code
0038-4941(200009)81:3<750:DJGMDM>2.0.ZU;2-R
Abstract
Objective. Prior research on the role of judge gender in voting behavior ha s led to competing theories about the impact of women judges. The purpose o f this research is to determine whether female judges vote differently than their male colleagues. Methods. In an attempt to determine whether or not women judges are generally more willing to support the liberal position, th is research examines the voting behavior of state supreme court judges from 1982 through 1993 in two substantive areas of law not generally identified as "women's issues": obscenity and death penalty sentencing. The data incl ude the universe of published obscenity decisions in that period and a rand om sample of death penalty decisions. The impact of judge gender is assesse d through use of a logistic regression model. Results. Controlling for part y and region, we find that women judges in state supreme courts tend to vot e more liberally than their male counterparts in both death penalty and obs cenity cases. Equally important, the presence of a woman on state supreme c ourts tends to increase the probability that male judges will also support the liberal position. Conclusions. The gender effects discovered do not app ear to be an artifact of state ideology or the result of socialization patt erns common to all women.