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1 - Qualification, Selection, and Retirement Characteristics of Women, Minorities, and Minority-Women State Supreme Court Judges

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 November 2018

Samantha L. Hernandez
San Antonio City Council
Sharon A. Navarro
University of Texas, San Antonio
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Women, minorities, and especially minority women are relatively rare on state supreme court benches. Of the 1,140 judges selected to these courts between 1970 and 2010, only 191 were women. Of those 191 women, only 10 were Black women, only 4 were Latina, and only 2 were Asian-American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) women. This chapter addresses whether and in what ways minority women vary in patterns of selection, retention, and replacement to state supreme courts compared to minority men, white women, and white men. I find that women judges across all four racial/ethnic groups were consistently younger at the time of selection than men were. Black women were disproportionately Democratic relative to white men and white women (p <= .025), although there was no difference in party identification between Black men and Black women. Likewise, Latina and AAPI women judges were no more likely to be Democrats than Latino, AAPI men, white women, or white men judges. Minority judges (both male and female) were more likely to be appointed than elected.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2018

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