The Legal Process from a Behavioral Perspective

By Stuart S. Nagel | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 17
Political Party Representation on the Courts

The new federal judgeships have again raised the issue of equal party representation among the judiciary. Both the Journal of the American Judicature Society and the American Bar Association's House of Delegates have recommended that the Democratic Party and the Republican Party should have approximately equal representation on the federal judiciary.1 This issue has not been raised regarding party representation among the justices of the supreme courts of the respective states, which together are at least as important as the federal courts. Various analyses have shown that such equality has not prevailed on the federal judiciary in the past.2 It is the purpose of this chapter to describe, account for, and evaluate the party distribution among the justices of the state supreme courts.

For or example, the Directory of American Judges shows that for 1955 (the only year for which this useful directory has been published), before Alaska and Hawaii became states, 304 judges were sitting on the 48 supreme courts.3 The Directory gives a party affiliation for 236 of the 304 judges. Who's Who in America gives a party affiliation for 25 of the remaining 68 judges.4 Various miscellaneous sources, particularly state governmental manuals, give a party affiliation for 10 of the remaining 43 judges.5 The supreme court judges who give no party affiliation in any of

____________________
1
"A Bi-Partisan Judiciary", 43, J. Am. Jud. Soc'y75 ( 1959); 84 ABA Rep.173 ( 1959).
2
PELTASON, FEDERAL COURTS IN THE POLITICAL PROCESS31-2 ( 1955) and Miller, "Federal Judicial Appointments: The Continuing Struggle for Good Judges," 41 ABA J.125 ( 1955).
3
Directory of American Judges ( LIEBMAN ed. 1955).
4
28, 29, 30 WHO'S WHO IN AMERICA ( SAMMONS ed. 1954, 1956, 1958).
5
ALABAMA OFFICIAL AND STATISTICAL REGISTER223 ( Bannon ed. 1955); DIRECTORY OF THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA8 ( WINTERS ed. 1959); ITALIAN-AMERICAN WHO's WHO64 ( 1954); OHIO ELECTION STATISTICS21 ( 1956); PENNSYLVANIA MANUAL556 ( 1956); NORTH CAROLINA MANUAL462 ( 1954); SCHUBERT, THE QUANTITAVE ANALYSIS OF JUDICIAL BEHAVIOR133 ( 1959); N. Y. Times, September 30, 1954, 32.

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