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Rethinking Critical Mass In The Federal Appellate Courts., Laura Moyer Jan 2013

Rethinking Critical Mass In The Federal Appellate Courts., Laura Moyer

Faculty Scholarship

This article draws from critical mass studies of gender in other political institutions to inform an application to the US Courts of Appeals. The results demonstrate the utility of considering court-level aspects of diversity. As mixed-sex panels become more common within a circuit, both male and female judges increasingly support plaintiffs in civil rights claims, though the magnitude of the effect is larger for women. The presence of a female chief judge is also positively associated with pro-plaintiff decisions by men and women in sex discrimination cases.