s-24 - Ch. 5 Judges [p.124-146] [9-23] 1. Who Judges Are...

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Ch. 5 – Judges [p.124-146] [9-23] 1. Who Judges Are [p.124] 1. Few formal restriction on who can become a judge 2. In practice on all but the lower courts are attorneys 3. 3 sets of characteristics to become a judge: 1. Social backgrounds, career experiences, & political activity A) Social Background 1) Social and Economic Status (a) Most come from families of higher than average status 2) Race and Gender (a) Vast majority white and male (i) In 2005 23% of all judges were women B) Career Experience 1) Private Practice (a) Engage at some point in the private practice of law (b) 1:5 state sup. crt. justices serving in ’06 came directly from private practice (i) More than 1/3 rd of federal district judges did (c) For federal judges - + 2/3rds had net worth $500,000 2) The Other Branches of Government (a) Many have practice law for the gov’t in some point of career 3) The Judicial Career Ladder [p. 128] (a) Most judges reach the bench @ middle age or later, & service on one court is not required to obtain a seat on the court above it (b) Tend to work way up C) Political Activity 1) Most judges active in politics to their selection 2) Political activity helps favor chances for 2 reasons: (a) Reward political supporters (b) Many of person worked for’s acquaintances tend to be political activists 3) Even thought political activity is not sufficient for selection, it is often necessary D) The Impact of Judges’ Characteristics (a) Judges of differing race and gender think differently than others [i.e. male possibly
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s-24 - Ch. 5 Judges [p.124-146] [9-23] 1. Who Judges Are...

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