CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Monday, November 28, 2005

Law Professors Rate Alito for Judicial Independence

Cal Berkeley and Georgetown Law Professors Stephen Choi and Mitu Gulati have co-authored Choosing the Next Supreme Court Justice: An Empirical Ranking of Judicious Performance, a study on what they believe to be a more objective measure for evaluating judicial performance, compared the ABA's rating system.  The ABA relies on testimonials, an interview with the candidate, and an assessment of academics, while Choi and Gulati ranked judges based on the number of opinions each judge wrote consistent with an appellate court, how many times a judge was cited by other judges in opinions and dissents, and the number of times a judge sided with colleagues appointed by a president from the same political party.  The study focused only on judges in the U.S. Courts of Appeals in 2003, aged 65 or under.

Both Choi and Gulati admitted they were suprised when Alito ranked 16th out of 74 active appellate court judges, meaning he's in roughly the top 20% of appellate court judges for judicial independence.  He ranked fourth in neutrality. Story here from . . [Mark Godsey]

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