Article

Is Justice Really Blind? Race and Reversal in US Courts

Author / Creator
Sen, Maya
Part of
The Journal of legal studies, 2015, Vol.44 (S1), p.S187-S229
DOI
10.1086/682691
Summary
  • I use two newly collected data sets to demonstrate that black federal district judges are consistently overturned on appeal more often than white district judges, with a gap in reversal rates of up to 10 percentage points. This gap is robust and persists after taking into account previous professional and judicial experience, educational background, qualification ratings assigned by the American Bar Association, and differences in appellate panel composition. In total, I find that approximately 2,800 additional cases authored by black judges have been reversed over the last 12 years. This study is among the first to explore how higher-court judges evaluate opinions written by judges of color, and it has clear implications: despite attempts to make the judiciary more reflective of the general population, racial disparities in the legal system appear to persist.

Date
2015-01-01
Publication
The Journal of legal studies
Volume
44
Issue
S1
Pages
S187-S229
Language
English
Publisher
University of Chicago Press
ISSN
0047-2530
EISSN
1537-5366
DOI
10.1086/682691
CODEN
JLGSAO

  • HeinOnline Law Journal Library
  • Sociological Abstracts
  • Nexis Uni
  • JSTOR Arts & Sciences IV
  • University of Chicago Press Journals (Current access)
  • JSTOR Archive Complimentary Collection

Subjects

  • 21st century
  • Appeals
  • Appellate courts
  • Associations
  • Attorneys
  • Civil rights
  • Conservatism
  • Courts
  • Decision making
  • Districts
  • Federal courts
  • Federal district courts
  • Judges
  • Judges & magistrates
  • Judicial behaviour
  • Judiciary
  • Jurisdiction
  • Justice
  • Law schools
  • Legal System
  • Liberalism
  • Qualifications
  • Race
  • Racial Differences
  • Racial discrimination
  • Rates
  • Rating
  • U.S.A
  • United States of America
  • Voting rights
  • Whites