Race and Sex on the Bench: The Key Impacts of Diversity on State High Courts
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Scholars have noted how race and gender effect decision making within federal courts. Recently, scholars have begun to explore whether race and gender influence decision making within state apex courts. This dissertation explores the influence race and gender have on judicial decision making in state apex courts. The first chapter focuses on individual effects of race and gender on judicial decision making within state apex courts. Individual effects suggest women and minorities will decide differently on a case compared to white men. Continuing with individual effects; the second chapter examines whether women and minorities are more likely to dissent than white men. The third chapter turns away from individual effects and towards group/peer effects. Group effects suggest women and minorities have the ability to influence white men when deciding cases together. Overall this dissertation adds to the growing body of literature on judicial decision making within state apex courts.