This paper assesses the impacts of minority representation on judicial decision- making within three-judge panels on the Ninth Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals. While much
of the existing literature regarding this issue has looked at racial and gender minorities in the federal judiciary, this paper seeks to identify whether the presence of foreign-born judges on appellate panels has an effect on the holdings of immigration-related cases. To address this question, I compiled an original database of 200 immigration cases decided between 2016 and 2020. The results reaffirm previous findings that panels with at least one female judge or judge of color are more likely to vote in favor of immigrant appellants. However, contrary to theoretical expectations, the results find that foreign-born judges were not more likely to vote in favor of immigrant appellants, signaling that the identity of being an immigrant may not have as strong of a predictive value on judicial decision-making as race or gender. This has broad implications for how we understand the role of different identities in shaping case outcomes in the U.S. Court of Appeals.
"Minority Representation on the U.S. Court of Appeals: Do Foreign-Born Judges Influence Immigration Case Outcomes?,"
Dartmouth Undergraduate Journal of Politics, Economics and World Affairs: Vol. 1
, Article 8.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.dartmouth.edu/dujpew/vol1/iss3/8