IS AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION BIASED AGAINST WOMEN, MINORITY JUDGES?

(Futurity.org) Women and minority judicial nominees systematically receive lower ratings from the American Bar Association than male or white candidates, new research shows.

An analysis of 1,770 district court nominations from 1960 to 2012 shows, however, that a candidate’s political ideology and whether they are a Republican or Democrat have no bearing on if the ABA gives a certification of  “well qualified,” “qualified,” or “not qualified.”

Published in the Journal of Law and Courts, the study shows that African Americans are 42 percentage points less likely to receive a high rating from the ABA than are whites trained at similarly ranked law schools, with similar legal experience, and nominated by the same president. Women, likewise, are 19 percentage points less likely to be highly rated than men with comparable educational and professional qualifications.

“It is important to have the voices of women and minorities in the federal courts,” says Maya Sen, assistant professor of political science at the University of Rochester. “We know that women and minority judges vote differently once they are on the bench.

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