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Queer Eyes Don’t Sympathize: An Empirical Investigation of LGB Identity and Judicial Decision Making

Jared Ham & Chan Tov McNamarah

This Note’s objectives are twofold. First, this Note presents the findings of the first ever empirical analysis of the voting patterns of LGB judges, as compared to heterosexual judges in the United States. Second, this Note considers what role a judge’s LGB identity may play in his or her decision making. Using social science research curated in the context of race and gender, this Note summarizes previous debates concerning other minority statuses and introduces them to the environment of sexual orientation. Informed by prior scholarship on race and gender in judicial decision making, this Note extends the conclusions and principles to consider whether LGB identity should affect decision making and how it may do so.

Jan 2020