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John Szmer, Robert K. Christensen and Erin B. Kaheny. (2015) Gender, Race, and Dissensus on State Supreme Courts Social Science Quarterly 96(2). 553-575
Objectives. The objectives of this study were to integrate multiple streams of research on judicial dissensus to better understand the causes of state court of last resort justices’ decisions to dissent. The study particularly focused on the relationship between dissent and gender and race (and their intersection) at the individual and panel level. Methods. We employed probit regression with clustered standard errors of the population of state court of last resort cases from 1995 to 1998. Results. Women and minorities were more likely to dissent in cases involving issues that are particularly salient to those particular groups. We also find evidence of the intersectionality of race and gender: while white women and African-American males were less likely to dissent than white males, African-American women were the most likely to cast dissenting votes. Conclusions. Our results suggest that, in addition to small-group (panel) and institutional characteristics, individual attributes such as race and gender (and their intersection) matter in the decision to dissent.
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