The Gatekeepers: Federal District Courts in the Political Process

By Kevin L. Lyles | Go to book overview

about such change.

In sum, this chapter has provided a descriptive picture of African-American and Latino district court judges' expectations and evaluations of their key policymaking role and function compared to the perceptions of their white counterparts. As such, this analysis extends the extant studies on African-American judges and contributes to laying a new foundation for further study of Latino judges.


NOTES
1.
Ellis Cose, The Rage of a Privileged Class ( New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers, 1993), p. 28.
2.
There remains considerable debate within scholarly literature regarding the use of the term "Hispanic" that is now used by the U.S. Census Bureau. Throughout this study, and especially in this chapter, I use the term "Latino," although the term "Hispanic" is perhaps more widely used. See Rodney E. Hero, Latinos and the U.S. Political System ( Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1992), pp. 2-3. See also, Carlos Muñoz, Youth, Identity, Power: The Chicano Movement ( New York: Verso, 1989); Rodolfo Acuña, Occupied America: A History of Chinos, 3rd ed. ( New York: Harper and Row, 1988); and Martha E. Gimenez, "Latin/Hispanic--Who Needs a Name? The Case Against a Standardized Terminology," International Journal of Heath Services 19, no. 3 ( 1989), pp. 557-571. In general, this debate suggests that the term Hispanic acts as a form of stereotyping by masking the diversity within and between Latino groups and overemphasizing the Spanish and European aspects of the Latino political experience while deemphasizing the Latino New World experience in the Americas--particularly the experience of conquest by the United States (see Margarita Melville, "Hispanics: Race, Class, or Ethnicity?" Journal of Ethnic Studies 16 ( 1988), pp. 67-83.
3.
Detailed in Appendix B, Part II in this volume, specifically, these data support those who find that African-American judges do indeed tend, more than their white cohorts, to promote minority interests--especially on issues like affirmative action, school desegregation, and voting rights. But given the relatively small number of "significant cases" decided to date by African-American judges, it might be suggested that this potential for policy change is not being met with the personnel to effect it. This limitation is even more evident with regard to Latino judges.
4.
See, for example, Katherine Tate, From Protests to Politics: The New Black Voters in American Elections ( Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1993); Lee Sigelman and Susan Welch, Black American's Views of Racial Inequality: The Dream Deferred ( New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991); Susan Welch and Michael Combs, "Interracial Differences in Opinions on Public Issues in the 1970s," Western Journal of Black Studies 7 ( 1983), pp. 136-141; and Howard Schuman, with Charlotte Steeh and Lawrence Bobo, Racial Attitudes in America: Trends and Interpretations ( Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1985).
5.
Bruce Wright, "A Black Brood on Black Judges," Judicature 57 ( 1973), p. 23.
6.
Sidney Verba and Norman H. Nie, Participation in America ( Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1972), esp. chapter 10.
7.
Susan Welch with Michael Combs and John Gruhl, "Do Black Judges Make a Difference?" American Journal of Political Science 32 ( 1988), pp. 126-136.

-244-

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