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The more you know

By Phillip Bantz
Dolan Media Newswires

A new study reported on NPR reveals that male judges tend to embrace feminism more often if they have daughters. Shocking, right?

Maya Sen, a political scientist at the University of Rochester, and Harvard professor Adam Glynn pored over 2,600 rulings of 240 judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals to discover that life experiences factor into a person’s decision-making process.

Seems like a lot of work to reach a rather obvious conclusion. But Sen and Glynn’s effort provided perfect fodder for an NPR feature.

According to the research, judges with daughters are more likely to come down on the feminist side of gender cases that center on issues such as employment discrimination and abortion.

“Now interestingly they find that this effect is strongest among Republican men. So, male Republican judges with daughters are most likely to vote differently than male Republican judges who don’t have daughters,” NPR’s Shankar Vedantam reported.

Why is the pro-feminist trend more pronounced with GOP judges? Who knows? Sidebar suggests that question be addressed in another study.

While we’re at it, someone ought to conduct an exhaustive study gauging the tech savvy of U.S. Supreme Court justices and how that affects their opinions.

Sure, Chief Justice John Roberts has openly admitted that he doesn’t really know the difference between email and a pager while Justices Anthony Kennedy and Antonin Scalia are confused about how text messages work.

If you can’t tell a pager from an inbox from an emoticon you’re probably not a tech wiz, but then again you can’t be sure without a study.


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