complement existing studies that provide limited support for the thesis that female judges bring a different perspective to the bench. However, for the most part, like previous studies, for many reasons this analysis does not support gender-specific generalizations. These reasons, discussed at length in previous works, 33 include first, that the psychological and legal theories regarding differences between men and women may be wrong; that is, the theory that women and men approach and resolve moral and legal problems differently is incorrect. 34 Second, it is possible that voting behavior (SDCC data) and the questions asked in the NDJS are not the most appropriate tools for determining the difference between male and female judges. It could be also that more survey questions regarding gender-related issues may have revealed greater differences. Third, as explained by Sue Davis and others, it could be that "differences among men and women are neutralized by the very nature of law and the legal process." 35 More specifically, it could be that because female judges are a small minority of newcomers to the bench, they are especially careful to maintain reputations as team players. This rationale might help to explain the much higher percentages of "no opinion" responses by female judges than for male judges for many of the NDJS questions.
Yet a fourth explanation put forth to partially explain the minor differences revealed in studies of male and female judges' decision making tendencies concerns the law school experience. Because women judges attended law schools controlled by and large by men, those women who were best socialized are thought more likely to succeed, and thus, less likely to exhibit the differences attributed to women by feminist theory. 36
Overall, the combined voting behavior (SDCC) and survey (NDJS) findings comport with the general findings of previous studies that collectively offer little empirical support for the theory that female judges will speak with a unique voice. Nonetheless, female judges are clearly making a distinctive contribution to our legal system. As such, only future research--when data for voting behavior has increased and survey data focusing more directly on gender-related issues as well as female judge socialization is generated--will make it possible to more accurately assess the nature and extent of women's impact on the legal system.