I'd like to introduce Amy Steigerwalt and Rich Vining, who will be guest-blogging with us this week about their paper on the ABA ratings, which has been generating a lot of media attention of late. (In fact, look for Steigerwalt's interview with Fox News Monday morning and coverage of the paper in Fox's Special Report Monday at 6pm EST.) Their paper can be found here. They'll start the conversation with an overall summary and discussion of the paper, and then Chris Zorn and I will engage them in some discussion of their research. Of course, we also welcome comments from all of you "out there." We thought this might provide a nice venue to discuss the choices we make when we conduct empricial social science, while also discussing a paper that might actually catch the attention of the general public and has immediate real-world consequences.
Rich Vining is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Georgia. He received his PhD from Emory University in 2008, conducting most of his research on the issue of retirements from the bench. Amy Steigerwalt received her PhD in 2004 from Berkeley and is currently Assistant Professor of Political Science at Georgia State. Her research most often involves judicial selection and the role of interest groups. (Their coauthor, Susan Navarro Smelcer, is a doctoral student at Emory. Her dissertation considers the decision to dissent in collegial courts.) Welcome, Amy and Rich! We look forward to the discussion!