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NCJ Number: 230177 Find in a Library
Title: Changing Backgrounds of U.S. District Judges: Likely Causes and Possible Implications
Journal: Judicature  Volume:93  Issue:4  Dated:January-February 2010  Pages:140-149
Author(s): Russell Wheeler
Date Published: January 2010
Page Count: 10
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article documents the change in Federal district judges' vocational backgrounds since 1953; assesses the normative arguments for continuing the change, and those for reversing it; assesses likely causes of the shift in vocational background; and suggests areas for further equity.
Abstract: Federal judges' vocational backgrounds since the Eisenhower administration have changed mainly at the district court level and involved a fairly steady decline in the proportion of judges appointed from private practice and a corresponding increase in State judges and United States magistrate and bankruptcy judges. The increase in public sector appointments to the Federal district courts likely results from at least five factors: 1) improvements in State and term-limited Federal judiciaries; 2) gender/ethnicity/race; 3) judicial salaries; 4) the nomination and confirmation process; and 5) attractiveness of district judgeships to private lawyers. This article is a preliminary effort to assess how various factors have influenced changes in district judges' vocational backgrounds. 2 figures, 6 tables, and 41 notes
Main Term(s): Judgeships
Index Term(s): Federal courts; Judge selection; Judges; Judicial attitudes
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