Does Gender Bias Creep Into Judicial Evaluation Procedures?

D69898_06Rebecca Gill, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas is conducting research on whether gender bias impacts the selection of judges and their performance evaluations once they are on the bench. Dr. Gill’s earlier research indicated that evaluations of women judges in Clark County, Nevada, were significantly lower than for male judges in the county. She then received a $171,000 grant from the National Science foundation that is allowing her to expand the research into other jurisdictions and other states.

Dr. Gill now has two full-time research assistants who are compiling data from all states that use judicial performance evaluations to set up the American Judicial Performance Evaluation Database. She will also use part of the grant to develop a best practices handbook for officials designing and implementing performance evaluation programs.

Dr. Gill says that her research is already producing some valuable results. “Those who are strongly supportive of the current system of judicial performance evaluation have revisited some previously unexamined assumptions of the fairness and validity of the instruments currently in use,” she said.

Dr. Gill joined the faculty at UNLV in 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree and a Ph.D. in political science from Michigan State University.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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