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70 Vand. L. Rev. 1845 (2017)
Public Perceptions of Gender Bias in the Decisions of Female State Court Judges

handle is hein.journals/vanlr70 and id is 1908 raw text is: 







  Public Perceptions of Gender Bias in

  the Decisions of Female State Court

                           Judges


                           Michael P. Fix*
                      Gbemende  E. Johnson**

       How  are women  on the bench, and their decisions, perceived by
the public? Many   scholars find that gender  influences the voting
behavior of judges and the assessment of judges by state judicial systems
and   the American  Bar  Association. However,  few scholars  have
examined  how judge gender affects the way in which the public responds
to judicial outcomes. Does the public perceive the decisions of female
state court judges as being biased by their gender identity, particularly
in cases involving reproductive rights/family law? Also, does the public
view female judges on state courts as more likely to rely on ideology when
ruling in cases? Using a survey experiment that varies judge gender in a
state child custody case, we examine whether respondents exhibit less
support for judicial decisions authored by female state court judges.
Additionally, we test whether respondents are more likely to perceive the
decisions of female state court judges as ideologically biased or as a
product of gender influences (as compared to male judges). Finally, we
assess whether  these effects are conditional on or exacerbated by
respondent characteristics such as gender, race, and religiosity. The
influence of gender on public response to state court decisions has
important  implications for our understanding of why certain court
decisions find public support and acceptance.

INTRODUCTION............................................. 1846
I.     GENDER  DIVERSITY, JUDICIAL  BEHAVIOR, AND  JUDGE
       EVALUATIONS........................................   1850


   *  Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Georgia State University.
   ** Assistant Professor, Department of Government, Hamilton College. The authors thank
Michael Nelson and participants at the Vanderbilt Law Review Symposium for helpful comments
and suggestions on earlier drafts.
                               1845

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