University Study Finds a Major Gender Gap in State Judgeship Appointments

TraceyGeorgeA study by Tracey George, a professor of law and political science at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, and Albert H. Yoon, a professor of law and economics at the University of Toronto, has found a huge racial gap in appointments to state judgeship positions.

The authors assembled a database of more than 10,000 state judges who hear about 90 percent of all court cases in the United States, according to the authors. They found that no state had a judiciary that equaled the percentage of women in the state’s population. In more than half the states, women held less than 60 percent of the judge positions that would be the case if gender parity prevailed.

The states with the highest percentage of women judges compared to the percentage of women in the state’s population were Oregon, Nevada, New Mexico and Minnesota. The worst performers were West Virginia, Idaho, Mississippi, Utah, and Kansas.

“We need a judiciary that reflects the population and we do not have it right now,” said Professor George.

The report, The Gavel Gap: Who Sits in Judgement on State Courts?, was published by the American Constitution Society. It may be downloaded by clicking here.

Below is a video of Professor George discussing the study.

Filed Under: Gender GapResearch/Study


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