Do American Bar Association Ratings Serve to Unfairly Exclude Blacks From the Federal Bench?

scalesThe American Bar Association issues a rating of “well qualified,” “qualified,” or “not qualified” for all nominations for U.S. federal judicial nominees. But a new study authored by Maya Sen, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Rochester, finds that women and minority candidates are less likely than White males to receive favorable ratings.

The study examined ratings of 1,770 district court nominations that were made between 1960 and 2012. The data showed that African Americans were 42 percentage points less likely to be highly rated than Whites with comparable educational and professional qualifications. Candidates who received the “not qualified” rating from the ABA are 35 percentage points less likely to be confirmed.

Dr. Sen writes that “the record number of minority and women nominees currently having their judicial candidacies derailed by this vetting process makes this a particularly pressing issue.”

The research, “How Judicial Qualification Ratings May Disadvantage Minority and Female Candidates,” was published in the Journal of Law and Courts and is available here.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Virginia State University Receives Approval to Launch MBA Program

“I am confident this program will equip our diverse population of men and women with the knowledge, skills, and experiences necessary to thrive in today’s ever-evolving world of business," said Emmanual Omojokun, dean of the Virginia State University College of Business.

Three Black Scholars Receive Faculty Appointments

The appointments are Erica Armstrong Dunbar at Emory University in Atlanta, Kimberly Haynie at the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff, and Kevin Vandiver at Virginia Theological Seminary.

Delaware State University Aviation Program Establishes Partnership with Endeavor Air

Through a new memorandum of understanding, students in the aviation program at Delaware State University will have the opportunity to enroll in a pathway program with Endeavor Air, ultimately leading to a priority interview with the airline company upon completion of required flight hours.

American College of Physicians Honors Bruce Ovbiagele for Advancing Diversity in Healthcare

Dr. Ovbiagele's academic career has been dedicated to eliminating local and global stroke disparities, as well as mentoring medical students and researchers from underrepresented groups.

Featured Jobs