Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Gregory L. Acquaviva (Law Clerk, Unites States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit) and John D. Castiglione (Latham & Watkins) have posted "Judicial Diversity on State Supreme Courts" on SSRN. It will be published in the Seton Hall Law Review.
The abstract states:
State courts of last resort are, in many ways, the primary expositors of law in the United States. Much of the law that affects people on an everyday basis - criminal law, contracts, family law, wills, trusts, and estates, just to name a few - fall within their purview. And yet we know surprisingly little about just who sits on these courts. Indeed, state supreme court judges have been aptly described as “perhaps the most important and least written about group within the judicial system” of the United States. There is little information regarding the composite characteristics of the jurists on state courts of last resort, and the last study on the characteristics and experiences of the state supreme court justices is twelve years old.
In this Article, we present the findings of a comprehensive examination of the demographic and experiential characteristics of all judges on the courts of last resort of the fifty states. The most important part of this examination was a survey developed for this project and submitted to every state supreme court justice in the country. In this survey, we asked the justices to self-report information regarding race, gender, religion, schooling, prior work experience, community involvement, bar association membership, and pro bono experience. The raw data we collected through this survey, augmented by publicly available resources, are presented throughout and as addenda to this Article.