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Descriptive representation and public support for Supreme Court nominees

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 December 2019

Jaclyn Kaslovsky
Department of Government, Harvard University, 1737 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA02138, USA
Jon C. Rogowski*
Department of Government, Harvard University, 1737 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA02138, USA
Andrew R. Stone
Department of Government, Harvard University, 1737 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA02138, USA
*Corresponding author. Email:


Though the demographic characteristics of judicial nominees in the United States have gained increased political attention in recent years, relatively little is known about how they affect public opinion toward judicial nominees and courts. We evaluate these relationships in the context of race and gender using a conjoint experiment conducted during a recent vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court. We find consistent evidence that Americans are more supportive of coracial nominees, particularly among white Republicans and Black Democrats, but no evidence of a similar effect on the basis of gender. Our results have important implications for theories of descriptive representation and suggest limits to its use as a means for generating political support for judicial nominees.

Original Article
Copyright © The European Political Science Association 2019

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Kaslovsky et al. Dataset

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Kaslovsky et al. supplementary material

Appendices A-C

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