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Diversity, Deliberation, and Judicial Opinion Writing

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 October 2022

Susan B. Haire*
University of Georgia
Laura P. Moyer
University of Louisville
Shawn Treier
Australian National University
Contact the corresponding author, Susan B. Haire, at


Underlying scholarly interest in diversity is the premise that a representative body contributes to robust decision-making processes. Using an innovative measure of opinion content, we examine this premise by analyzing deliberative outputs in the US courts of appeals (1997–2002). While the presence of a single female or minority did not affect the attention to issues in the majority opinion, panels composed of a majority of women or minorities produced opinions with significantly more points of law compared to panels with three Caucasian males.

Research Article
© 2013 by the Law and Courts Organized Section of the American Political Science Association. All rights reserved.

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The authors would like to thank Donald Songer, Stefanie Lindquist, Robert Christensen, and John Szmer as well as the editor and anonymous referees for their helpful comments and suggestions on earlier versions of the article. Shawn Treier would also like to acknowledge the support of the US Studies Centre at the University of Sydney. Laura Moyer would like to acknowledge the support of Louisiana State University.


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