Judicial Systems

Criminal Justice Citizenship

Daniel S. McConkie, Jr.

Abstract The American criminal justice system is fundamentally democraticand should reflect an ideal of citizenship that is equal, participatory, anddeliberative. Unfortunately, the outcomes of criminal cases are nowalmost always determined by professionals (prosecutors, defenseattorneys, and judges) instead of by juries. This overly bureaucratizedsystem of adjudication silences the voice of the people. A better systemwould strengthen […]

Judicial Impartiality in an Empirical Era

Written By: Tigran W. Eldred

Abstract  Response to Cassandra Burke Robertson, Judicial Impartiality in a Partisan Era The psychological dimensions of judicial impartiality is a topic of considerable interest, with a growing body of scholarship focused on the reasons judges often are unable to perceive their own biases. Professor Robertson’s article, Judicial Impartiality in a Partisan Era,4 makes a significant […]

Neither the Problem Nor the Solution Lies Solely with the Judiciary: Response to Robertson’s Judicial Impartiality in a Partisan Era

Melanie Kalmanson

Abstract Response to Cassandra Burke Robertson, Judicial Impartiality in a Partisan Era In Judicial Impartiality in a Partisan Era (“Professor Robertson’s Article”), Cassandra Burke Robertson focuses on the danger the judiciary faces as a result of “growing partisan polarization.” She should be applauded for bringing this problem to the forefront. Unquestionably, politically motivated attacks against the […]

Judging Implicit Bias: A National Empirical Study of Judicial Stereotypes

Written by: Justin D. Levinson, Mark W. Bennett, & Koichi Hioki

Abstract American judges, and especially lifetime-appointed federal judges, are often revered as the pinnacle of objectivity, possessing a deep commitment to fairness, and driven to seek justice as they interpret federal laws and the U.S. Constitution. As these judges struggle with some of the great challenges of the modern legal world, empirical scholars must seek […]

A New Era for Judicial Retention Elections: The Rise of and Defense Against Unfair Political Attacks

Written by: Hon. Barbara J. Pariente & F. James Robinson, Jr.

Abstract The judicial-merit selection and retention system for appointing judges to the bench was designed to emphasize selection based on the judge’s qualifications and to minimize the influence of partisanship and politics in both the selection and retention process. Since 2010, increasingly strident and frequent political attacks on state supreme court justices facing judicial-merit retention […]

Interpreting the Supreme Court: Finding Meaning in the Justices’ Personal Experiences

Written by: Amy Howe

Abstract At his 2004 confirmation hearing, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. famously compared the role of a Supreme Court Justice to that of a baseball umpire and promised “to remember that it’s my job to call balls and strikes.” Roberts likely intended this to mean that he would serve as a neutral arbiter of […]